Wednesday, April 20, 2011

High Court Upholds Arizona's Tax-Credit for Education

WASHINGTON — A sharply divided Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s tax-credit program, which offers dollar-for-dollar reduction in state income tax for donations to tuition organizations that support religious schools.

The court’s 5-4 decision April 4 sets a precedent that could benefit religious schools throughout the country, including Catholic schools.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that such laws do not violate the Establishment Clause. “When the government declines to impose a tax, there is no such connection between dissenting taxpayer and alleged establishment.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Christian Legal Society, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, the Center for Arizona Policy and the Association for Biblical Higher Education in filing an amicus brief supporting the Arizona law. The brief argued, “The complaint that too many contributions under the program have been directed to religious schools is a complaint that voluntary religion is vigorous among Arizona taxpayers.”

Marie Powell, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat for Catholic Education, was pleased with the decision. “This at least gives some support for lower-income and middle-income families to have the benefit of scholarships that organizations can set up, and individuals can make donations to these scholarship organizations — and take it as a tax credit off their own individual taxes.”

Read it all here.

1 comment:

George Patsourakos said...

The Supreme Court was correct in its decision to uphold Arizona's tax-credit for education.

People in Arizona who want to transfer their taxes for educational scholarships at private and religious schools should have the right to do so, since it is the law in that state.