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Eye On Boise

Tue., March 26, 2013, 2:17 p.m.

Senate panel kills private school tax credit bill on 2-7 vote

Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee meets on Tuesday afternoon (Betsy Russell)
Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee meets on Tuesday afternoon (Betsy Russell)

The Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee has killed HB 286, Sen. Bob Nonini’s $10 million tax credit bill for scholarships to private schools; only Sens. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, and Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, voted in favor of the bill. “Our time is short, but I do have to explain why I can’t support the motion,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. “There’s probably a lot of reasons. By the very nature of this, this is a 501c3 organization – the donor is going to get a charitable contribution deduction both for federal and state income taxes for the full amount … he contributed. The donor is going to profit off of making this donation at the expense of the public, and I don’t think that’s what fiscal conservatives want, I don’t think that’s what the state Republican Party wants, is to have something like that happen. That’s not appropriate. It’s just not fair.”

Hill, a CPA, said under the bill, it would cost the public “at least $107, not counting what the feds are going to pay … for a $100 contribution,” plus "10 percent for administrative costs.” He said, “We’d be a lot better off just making an appropriation for $8 million to these schools, however our Constitution won’t let us.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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