State Capitol News
10:41 am
Mon May 24, 2010

Supreme Court To Decide Whether State Taxpayers Can Divert Money They Owe To For Private School Scholarships

Phoenix, AZ – The 1997 law provides a dollar for dollar tax credit of $500 for
individuals who give to organizations that provide schoolarships
for students to attend these schools. The most recent figures
show more than $55 million deducted from individual tax returns
with corporations taking another $10 million out of what they
owe. The Supreme Court has upheld a voucher program in Ohio where
the state gave money to parents who could use it for any school
they want, including religious schools. Attorney Paul Bender said
the way the Arizona system operates is different.

(Our point is not that people use these scholarships to send
these kids to religious schools, that the scholarships are
distributed by religious organizations and then distributed to
parents who can only use them for religious schools.)

But Tim Keller of the Institute for Justice said that's legally
irrelevant -- as is the fact that the majority of the money ends
up paid to religious schools.

(The constitution requires that the government not do anything to
either advance or prohibit religion. And in this case the
government has its hands off the program.)

Keller also said any group can form a scholarship organization
and seek donations from taxpayers to send children to whatever
type of school desired. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.