April 24, 2003

Senate Bill 1263: Corporate Tax Credits for Private Education

Senator Mark Anderson (R), District 18

This bill would have expanded Arizona's existing scholarship tax credit to allow corporations to donate money to let children leave the public school system.

02/03/2003 Introduced.
02/03/2003 To Senate Committee on Finance.
02/03/2003 Additionally referred to Senate Committee on Rules.
02/24/2003 From Senate Committee on Finance: do pass with amendment.
03/03/2003 From Senate Committee on Rules: do pass proper for consideration with amendment.
03/19/2003 Committee of the Whole: do pass amended.
03/24/2003 Passed Senate. To House.
03/25/2003 Assigned to House Ways and Means Committee and House Rules Committee.
04/01/2003 From House Committee on Ways and Means: Do pass.
04/07/2003 From House Committee on Rules: Do pass constitutional and in proper form.
04/09/2003 Failed to pass House Committee of the Whole (Vote: 27-31, with 2 abstentions.)

Action Requested:
None this year. This bill was killed at the last minute through a concerted effort by public school activists.

HSLDA's Position:
Support. HSLDA strongly supports Arizona's scholarship tax credit. This bill would have expanded this program and should be supported.

Background: Arizona was the first state in the country to adopt a scholarship tax credit, which has been upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court. While this tax credit does not directly help homeschoolers, it allows every Arizona taxpayer to support private education at no cost to themselves. Each taxpayer can donate up to $500 of their own money to help children choose alternatives to public schools. That donation is taken directly off the state income tax liability. Thus, in effect, homeschoolers can take $500 out the state budget and put it into private education.

Two other states have adopted similar laws. Both Pennsylvania and Florida allow businesses to take a dollar for dollar tax credit for donations to private schools. This legislation would follow Pennsylvania and Florida's lead. At present, only individual taxpayers can donate money to scholarship funds. While not all corporations will take advantage of this new law, some will and most should. The new law would have given homeschool employees an opportunity to lobby their own corporations for visible support to private education.

 Other Resources

4/1/2003 - Arizona--Support Scholarship Tax Credit for Corporations

3/24/2003 - Arizona--Support Scholarship Tax Credit for Corporations

Bill Text

Bill History

HSLDA's Education Tax Credit Memo