Illinois enacted the Invest In Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program in 2017. This program offers a 75 percent income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs). The SGOs then provide scholarships for students whose families meet the income requirements to attend qualified, non-public schools in Illinois.
It is a carefully regulated process, but it works.
The total amount of tax credit that could be granted per year was $75 million dollars. That might sound like a lot of money, but consider that the Illinois State Board of Education has a proposed budget of $9.64 billion dollars. So $75 million is less than 1% of this budget. In comparison to the total budget for our state, $75 million is a pittance (about .18% of the total budget).
Recently Governor J.B. Pritzker outlined a $41.6 billion budget for the entire state. As part of his savings, Pritzker wants to lower the tax credit to only 40% which will certainly reduce the incentive for and ability of people to donate to this program that helps over 3,800 lower income students to afford a private education.
Illinois, on average, spends about $13,000 per student. So, taxpayers are getting a fantastic deal through this program in terms of savings. Private schools in Illinois save the state far more than $75 million dollars a year. An excellent case can be made that cutting this program will cost taxpayers even more money, but unfortunately, logic and financial stewardship are not characteristics of our state.
Many people love the story of Robin Hood. Whatever the truth of the story is, people like to see the poor get back funds from the rich who have stolen from them. Many politicians like to think that through their policies they are helping to give back to the poor. But increasingly in Illinois, Gov. Pritzker wants to take more from the taxpayers so that the rich and connected can get even more.
We are living through a spiritual/legal/political revolution in our nation. The issue at hand is more than just money. We recognize that ultimately we are in a spiritual battle. We must first be in prayer for the sake of our state and for the sake of many who have been helped out of government indoctrination centers. We also must express our strong disapproval to Gov. Pritzker and our state legislators about cutting this program in any way. In fact, the $75 million should be increased. Let’s raise our voice on this vital issue.
Take ACTION: Click HERE to send a message to Gov. Pritzker and your state lawmakers to urge them to uphold, expand and solidify the “Invest in Kids” program. Please also follow up with a phone call to your lawmakers. The Springfield switchboard number is (217) 782-2000. The phone numbers for the Office of Governor is (217) 782-6830 or (312) 814-2121.
Read more: Illinois Invest in Kids Program Should be Expanded, Not Phased Out (Heartland Inst.)
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