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Date:
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1/27/2003 11:52:12 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Arizona--Tax Credit for Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 27, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Arizona leads the nation in encouraging alternatives to public
education. Arizona's Scholarship Tax Credit has been copied by other
states as a model for school choice funding. Now Arizona
homeschoolers have a chance to get the nation's largest tax credit
for homeschooling.

House Bill 2260 would provide a $1,500 tax credit for parents who
operate a homeschool pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes sec.15-802.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Read this bill for yourself and think about how it would affect
your own family and the homeschoolers you know.
www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/az/2003/HB2260/default.asp

2. Contact your own state representative and state senator to ask
them to support homeschool tax credits. If you don't know who your
state legislators are, use our legislative toolbox at
www.hslda.org/toolbox.

3. Forward this message to other homeschoolers you know, and ask for
their support on this bill.

BACKGROUND

Homeschoolers currently pay for the public education system while
they privately educate their own children. This "double taxation" is
unfair. While almost all homeschoolers would like to be free of the
tax burden of public schools they do not use, a significant number of
homeschool leaders are concerned about any effort to get benefits
from the government. Most homeschool leaders agree that vouchers
(direct payments from the government to private or homeschools) are
unacceptable.

Under Arizona law, however, no state money or property may be used
"in aid of any church, or private or sectarian school, or any public
service corporation." Arizona Constitution Article 9, Section 10. The
Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that a tax credit is not "state money
or property," so that tax credits may be used to support religious
instruction where voucher money could not be so used. The Arizona
Supreme Court has already upheld the scholarship tax credit, which
allows taxpayers to donate money to be used to provide free education
in private schools.

House Bill 2260 is a tax credit, not a voucher, and is therefore
acceptable to most homeschoolers. There is some question about
Subsection C of the bill, which provides for a "refundable" tax
credit. The opponents of school choice might argue that a
"refundable" tax credit is really a voucher, since it provides state
money to people who pay no taxes. HSLDA recommends eliminating the
"refundable" portion of the tax credit, or inserting a "severability
clause" to make sure that the entire tax credit is not struck down
just because some non-taxpayers get state money.

We expect the opposition to this bill to be extreme. While the
chances of passage this year are not that good, this provides an
excellent opportunity to find out where your own legislator stands on
the subject of school choice in general, and homeschooling in
particular.

HSLDA supports the general concept of this bill, even though it may
need some adjustments. This credit may make it possible for many
families to homeschool that couldn't do so otherwise. We encourage
individual families, local support groups, and state organizations to
communicate with one another as they work on this legislation. By
hard work and careful communication, homeschoolers may be able to
advance freedom despite the predictable opposition of the public
school establishment.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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