Mailers, robo-calls don’t give all the facts regarding proposal
(BINGHAMTON, NY) – Over the last few weeks, as many as six mailers and dozens of robo-calls have been received by residents asking them to call on Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo to support the Parental Choice in Education Act, commonly referred to as the Education Investment Tax Credit (EITC). However, this multi-million dollar ad campaign fails to provide critical information about the entire proposal.
“These ads portray the portions of the EITC that are worth discussing; the portion they don’t mention is one that would benefit some of the state’s wealthiest individuals and businesses,” said Lupardo. “Donations to ‘scholarship funds’ for private schools will be rewarded with a tax credit of 75%, up to $1 million; that means rich investors could get hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax credits while qualifying parents and teachers would only get $500 and $200 respectively. This huge discrepancy makes me wonder how many of my constituents would truly benefit from the EITC.”
More than $3 million has already been spent on the aggressive ad campaign by a group called the Coalition for Opportunity in Education. This organization is backed by the same interests that would benefit from the large tax breaks that are part of the EITC proposal.
Of the $150 million allotted for this program, $70 million would go to families who send their children to nonpublic schools. However, only families with an income of less than $60,000 per year would be eligible for a credit of $500 for tuition expenses.
“As with any proposal, the most important factor for me is how many of my constituents will actually benefit,” Lupardo said. “With a majority of parents in my district sending their children to public schools and an income threshold of $60,000 or less for those that send theirs to private schools, I’m concerned that few families in our community would benefit from this credit.”
The remaining $80 million is divided into three allotments: $50 million for the 75% tax credit on private school donations, $20 million for a 75% credit for public school donations, and $10 million for a $200 credit for educators that purchase materials and supplies out of their own pockets.