Study: School tax credit bill would cost state millions
Folks, if the media in South Carolina would have the courage to stand up to a bad idea and broadcast/publish a few more articles like this, the entire debate over the "Put Private Schools In Charge Act"....oops, I mean, "Put Parents In Charge Act," would be OVER.
I understand the media has to present both sides, but when one side of the debate are complete hypocrites, when does THAT FACT become the larger story? Seriously, I've listened to Republican legislators pounding their bully pulpits for years preaching the gospel of "fiscal conservatism". I've listened to them make excuses since 2000 as to why the couldn't fully fund public schools, shorting them each year by hundreds of millions of dollars.
So now the "gig is up". This back door voucher program, contrary to the fake-study by Cotton Lindsey and the pro-voucher crowd, will indeed COST, not SAVE the state hundreds of millions in tax dollars. I hope the public finally sees the light.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Giving tax breaks for paying private school tuition would cost South Carolina as much as $231 million in revenue in five years if legislation now in the Statehouse becomes law, according to a study released Tuesday by economists.
The fiscal impact study on the Put Parents in Charge Act from the state Board of Economic Advisors dampened arguments from school choice supporters that the bill would save the state millions of dollars and caused concern among some legislators who support the bill.
"Unless we can see on the other side where there's going to be a savings, that's going to be a problem," Rep. Shirley Hinson, R-Goose Creek, said. Hinson, one of the bill's co-sponsors, said she was waiting on a rebuttal to some of the study's findings from Gov. Mark Sanford's office.
The study showed the tax credits would cost the state's general revenue $29 million for the 2006-07 fiscal year. The bill would cost $231 million at the end of five years when it is fully implemented.
The study also showed modest savings of nearly $10.6 million at the state level, but found local communities would have to find a way to make up the difference.
"That translates into a tax increase," said Hinson, whose subcommittee passed the bill last week. "And that translates into a no, pretty simply."
The study was requested by the House Ways and Means Committee members, who wanted estimates on how the Put Parents in Charge Act would affect state revenues. The full committee plans to take up the bill next week. The legislation would allow parents to claim tax credits for paying tuition and other costs for private schools, home schooling or public schools.
The Board of Economic Advisors' study contradicted a report by Clemson University economist Cotton Lindsey, who found that the state would save hundreds of millions of dollars the first year the bill was implemented.
"It truly supports and underscores what we've been saying about potential impact," said Scott Price, a lobbyist with the South Carolina School Boards Association. Price's group and the South Carolina Association of School Administrators paid for a study that showed the bill would cost public schools hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Board of Economic Advisors are the state's chief financial consultants and continually review tax and other revenue collections as well as estimating the fiscal impact of all legislation.