HB 45, the bill to extend a popular tax credit for donations to schools, was killed in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee this morning, but a new version was introduced on a unanimous vote that still would extend the credit, in the same amounts and for the same donations as are covered by the current law. The one change: Clarifying provisions have been added to specify that independent foundations that raise money for schools must be recognized by the governing board of the schools as their sole designated supporting organization, and the foundation’s bylaws must state that too.
“It tightens the relationship up to prevent abuse, raising money in the name of someone who doesn’t see it,” said Blake Youde, spokesman for the state Board of Education, which proposed HB 45 and also proposed the new version today. “Some members wanted that tightened up, and the affected school districts negotiated and let us know when they had resolution.”
Freshman Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, had pushed for the changes, suggesting that some money being raised by school foundations wasn’t necessarily getting to the schools, and instead was going to administration, endowments and so forth. Scott joined in the panel’s unanimous approval of the new version of the tax credit bill today; if lawmakers don’t act, the credit would expire at the end of this year. Youde said he expects a committee hearing likely next week on the version of the bill.