Pearl River, NY -- (8/29/16) Tom DePrisco, candidate for the 38th Senate District in New York, today released a statement regarding the Education Investment Tax Credit.
The legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a system of free common schools, wherein all the children of this state may be educated.
This proposed senate legislation would provide a 90% tax credit to individual and corporations who contribute a maximum $1 million each year. Ultimately, taxpayers would provide $300 million annually in tax credits for $333.3 million in donations made by contributors. Who really will benefit from these generous tax credits? Rest assured that since this involves a first come, first serve application process, wealthy individuals and corporations will ensure they receive these credits first. The first year limit is $150 million, the second year limit is $225 million, and the third and succeeding years’ limits will be $300 million. While I support providing tax relief for the middle class and a classroom materials tax credit for our dedicated teachers, the Education Investment Tax Credit legislation cannot be considered until public education funding is made whole. This law has been proposed for over six years even while the Gap Elimination Adjustment funds were still owed to our school districts and the promised, yet still undelivered, Basic Foundation Aid has not been given to our school districts. While the intention of the state legislature is to stimulate private contributions to both public and nonpublic educational programs with the desired result of reducing the amount of state aid apportioned to school districts each year, this cannot be assumed due to the unpredictability of annual contributions. My opponent has been a steadfast proponent of this legislation.
In essence, individual and corporate donors will specifically decide how $300 million of the NYS budget will be spent. This must be left solely up to our elected representatives in the state legislature and our governor. The proposed $300 million can be utilized more effectively to provide necessary funding for our public schools. In my opinion, this is an extremely slippery slope to travel considering Section 3 of Article XI of the NYS Constitution:
Neither the state nor any subdivision thereof, shall use its property or credit or any public money, or authorize or permit either to be used, directly or indirectly, in aid or maintenance, other than for examination or inspection, of any school or institution of learning wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination, or in which any denominational tenet or doctrine is taught...
I will ensure our public school children receive the funding that they are entitled to and that they deserve. My words will become effective action in Albany."
Tom DePrisco is a resident of Pearl River. He serves as the Vice President of the Pearl River School District School Board and the Rockland County School Boards Association. For more information visit www.TomDePrisco.com.