Kansas Senate Committee Passes Tax Incentive

It’s that time of the year.  Lots of drama in Topeka.  The House Appropriations Chair resigned because he felt his party leadership wasn’t offering enough government funding for charter/virtual public schools.  They’re compromising along the way.  Another interesting aspect is the Senate Ways and Means Committee offering property tax credits for families using private schools or homeschooling.
With the Common Core awfulness bringing kids to tears, private school tax incentives could take parents over the edge and out of the public school.

From the Lawrence Journal-World:

The Senate panel, though, approved an amendment by Sen. Steve Abrams to authorize property tax credits for homeowners who either home-school their children or send them to private schools.

Both chambers are expected to debate the bills Thursday. Legislative leaders remain hopeful that a conference committee can produce a final bill before the Legislature adjourns the regular session Friday or Saturday.

The Wichita Eagle added these details on this issue that pops up here and there:
By Bryan Lowry and Dion Lefler
Potentially the most controversial action in the Senate committee debate was an amendment by Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, that would establish a property tax credit for families whose children are privately schooled.
Those families would be able to claim as much as a $1,000 credit per child on their property tax, up to a family cap of $2,500.
Abrams, a former member of the state Board of Education, said he doesn’t think it’s fair for parents to have to “pay twice” for their children’s education, once through taxes for public school and again in tuition for private school.
Although the tax break would have the same overall effect as a partial voucher, in essence shifting tax money to pay for private education, Abrams said it’s different because the tax money would not actually be collected from the family receiving the credit.
In a traditional voucher system, they’d pay the tax and get some back for their educational spending, he said.
The tax break would be limited to property owners, so renters would be ineligible. Abrams explained that in his view, renters should be excluded because they don’t pay a direct property tax against which they could claim the credit.
Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, who owns rental property, argued during the debate that the property tax cost is folded into the tenants’ rent.
Also ineligible would be families with some of their children in private schools and some in public schools.
Abrams said if a family has even one child in the public schools, they’re benefitting from the system, hence their exclusion from the tax benefit.
 
Sounds like this amendment won’t fly in the final plan.  That result seems to be the status quo.

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