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New York - Governor Spitzer to Make Private School Tuition Tax Deductible

Published on: February 1, 2007 08:08 AM
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New York - Governor Spitzer is attempting to make private school tuition tax deductible.
The executive budget he released would give middle-class parents a tax deduction of up to $1,000 for tuition.

Mr. Spitzer, who sends his children to an elite private school in the Bronx, is seeking to allow families with an annual income of $116,000 or less to deduct $1,000 from their state income taxes for tuition paid to public, private, or parochial schools. Families that earn between $116,000 and $125,000 a year also could take a deduction, although the amount of the deduction would be lower for higher salaries. Families that make more than $125,000 would be ineligible.

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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »


 Feb 09, 2007 at 01:10 PM Dora Says:

Whatever happened to "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION"? When did teachers'union dictate how I wish to have my child educated? Why is it that only wealthy families should be given the school choice (because they can send their kids to private schools). I support good teachers - but this has become abusive to our children and our families' consitutional rights. An open market is the best way to get children to a good school whereby teachers would be compensated for their wonderful work.


 Feb 09, 2007 at 01:07 PM Dora Says:

The $1,000 is not good enough. We are all tax-payers. I would be happy with $4,000 per family. As for the Teacher's Union, they only care about themselves, they have become an ugly cancer. I have such high praise for teachers- thank God for them. However, when they start bullying our leaders so that families are not given the financial choice to do what is best for our children and towns,I lose all respect for them! Whatever happened to "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION". I choose a faith based school and I would wish to have my school taxes go toward the school of my choice.


 Feb 02, 2007 at 11:08 AM BSSP Says:

Private school tax break debated
Public education groups oppose Spitzer plan to offer modest deduction for tuition

ALBANY -- One of the least expensive proposals in Gov. Eliot Spitzer's sweeping education budget is turning out to be one of the most controversial, and it may lead to a replay of last year's battle pitting religious organizations against the public education lobby.
Spitzer is proposing a tuition tax deduction for families who pay private or parochial school tuition. It is much more modest than the tax credit that was shot down last year in the wake of protests by teachers unions and other public school groups.

But the rhetoric surrounding the issue is just as pitched. Supporters say it would give families educational choices; opponents charge it would lead to a voucher system that could undercut public school funding.

The current proposal would let families claim a tax deduction of up to $1,000 per child, and it would apply to incomes of up to $125,000. The estimated tax savings would be $60 and $80 per student, said Aaron Troodler, legislative director for the Sephardic Community Federation, a Brooklyn-based organization of Jewish groups that includes some 20 yeshivas, or religious schools, and along with the Catholic Conference, is an enthusiastic backer of the plan.

That's a lot less than the direct tax credit of up to $500 per child that former Gov. George Pataki unsuccessfully pushed last year.

While Pataki's plan would have cost some $400 million, this would run between $25 million and $30 million, which proponents say amounts to pocket change within the $19.2 billion education plan Spitzer proposes.

Also supporting the idea is the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability, which supports charter schools as well as vouchers.

"It's a fantastic start," said B. Jason Brooks, a senior researcher at the foundation. "This is a back door way to promote school choice that isn't the political hot button that vouchers are."

But vouchers, which allow public money to be directed to private schools, are precisely what opponents such as teacher unions are so upset about. They see the tax deduction as a first step toward vouchers, which they believe would pull too much funding from the public schools.

"It would be the camel's nose under the tent," said David Ernst, spokesman for the state School Boards Association, which opposes the idea on principle.

The state's major teachers union, New York State United Teachers, has come out strongly against the plan, with union President Richard Iannuzzi dubbing it "bad public policy."

That attitude is "churlish," given its relatively small cost, said Michael Tobman, executive director of Teach NYS, the organization spearheading the tax deduction plan.

"One would think that with billions coming to public schools, basic decency would have you more generous with parents," Tobman said in a prepared statement directed at Iannuzzi.

Supporters like Tobman are betting that the deduction's lower cost -- compared to a credit -- may blunt some of the opposition.

And of course, coming from Spitzer, a Democrat, the plan may get a different reception in the Democratic Assembly, which was hostile to last year's proposed credit.

It wasn't yet clear if the tax deduction would spark the kind of rally that took place last year, in which some 5,000 parochial students and teachers, as well as religious leaders, including Cardinal Edward Egan of New York City, came to the Capitol in support of the plan.

Ultimately, the tax credit evolved into a much broader per-child tax break that cost the state $600 million, rather than the original $400 million.


 Feb 01, 2007 at 11:42 PM Anonymous Says:

I'll take the 1K. It's more than nothing and it leaves room for the amount to be made greater in future years. With the yellow bus stupidity that is going on now in NYC it is becoming more and more obvious that a more permanent solution is needed. If we start with private tuition being recognized, enough so that you can claim it on your tax return, there may still be hope that some form of vouchers or privatization of the school system can come to pass.


 Feb 01, 2007 at 09:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Anonymous on February 1, 2007 at 4:44 PM said...
"... Spitzer keep the 1k, I will manage own the way I did until now."

I agree, he should keep the 1K. Everyone here is just whining that it is not enough. No amount is ever going to be enough. And stop complaining about paying taxes for public schools that you don't use. You knew that was the deal. If it bothers you so much, find some place else to live that has a better deal.


 Feb 01, 2007 at 04:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Now the schools have found another reason to raise your tuition.....with the excuse you are anyways getting it back. Spitzer keep the 1k, I will manage own the way I did until now.


 Feb 01, 2007 at 02:09 PM O.Gevald Says:

If you do that (register all kinderlach in PS), then Satmar will have to "give back" the PS buildings they got from the City.


 Feb 01, 2007 at 12:24 PM a papa Says:

maybe we should register all our children in PS & see what Spitzer et al. have to say about that???


 Feb 01, 2007 at 11:53 AM B.A. Mentsch Says:

In retrospect, I'm not surprised at Spitzer's petty "allowance" as a tuition credit. Just the other day Vos Iz Neias showed us Spitzer's announcement for the Upstate Budget increase which increased the Village of KJ by a measely $500,000.00. What can an entire village of thousands of families do with only half-a-million? Re-pave a couple of streets? Put in a sewer system on 10-12 blocks? It's a joke!
Does Spitzer think he's throwing some dollars into the Pushka here?


 Feb 01, 2007 at 11:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Is it actually $1000 Total per family or, per Child?!?! If it's total for the family, it's a Real joke. If it's per child, then it's a joke of a smaller degree. Still funny nonetheless. Perhaps, Spitzer should consider stand-up comedy as his post-political career choice.


 Feb 01, 2007 at 10:46 AM Anonymous Says:

C'mon Spitzer, that's a drop in the bucket! You should know better than that!!


 Feb 01, 2007 at 10:32 AM O.Gevald Says:

Why shouldn't every dollar we spend on tuition be fully credited if the kids were going to PS we would pay "zero" and the state/city would bear the enormous financial burden of doing so.
The government themselves has printed assesments of what each child cost to provide schooling in the PS. Their assesments were above $3,500.00 per child. At least that amount should be credited (if the State approves the school).
To add insult to injury, WE pay school taxes to cover PS which our kids are not attending!!!


 Feb 01, 2007 at 08:42 AM Anonymous Says:

so if you have 8 kids thats about $120 a kid, yippee!!!!! It doesn't help yeshiva tuition at all.

Yeshiva tuition will only be solved by the jewish community.


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