Why I’m Fighting for Education Investment Tax Credits

Before we were able to accomplish TAP,   I was told that it would never happen. We persevered and today it’s a reality.

I was more than disappointed to see the Education Investment Tax Credit Act encounter strong opposition this past March. But it’s not over. The opportunity to create a New York State tax credit for donations to public schools and nonprofit scholarship funds is still very much within our reach, and for the next three weeks this is what I’ll be fighting for day and night in Albany.

The tax credits we seek have all the right elements: They are both Constitutional and fair. Moreover, they will substantially increase investment in New York State education while benefiting all children and their families. Indeed, the bill would help public schools struggling to keep class sizes down, as well as parochial schools that have been losing students for years, and families of students who cannot afford private school tuition.

Most importantly, it’s an act that balances the scales. It’s important that everyone understands that the amount of money that private and parochial schools save New York State is truly astronomical. Education Investment Tax Credits are about giving parents choices as well as the opportunity to offset educational costs when the choice is for private school education. But at the same time, teachers from public schools benefit, too.

For years, helping parents offset the high cost of educating children has remained highest on my list of priorities. And New York State has made it clear that education is a top priority. So what about our community? Don’t we count? It’s time for New York State to give parents relief when it comes to education and not penalize our parents for making a choice that ultimately benefits everyone.

From the beginning, fighting for this act has been an uphill battle, but it’s a battle
worth fighting. The Education Investment Tax Credit Act would create a generous
state tax credit for individuals and corporations who donate money to public schools, or to scholarship programs that help poor and middle-class students attend private schools, including religious ones. That is a far greater benefit than the deduction that now exists for such contributions.

We are still determined to deliver legislation that will help bring relief to parents. I am determined to do everything possible — to work with the bill’s sponsors, New York State Senators Simcha Felder and Marty Golden, as well as my colleague Assemblyman Michael Cusick of Staten Island — to see this Education Investment Tax Credit Act pass.

As a parent and a grandparent, I understand that nothing is more important than helping educate our children. There isn’t a single piece of legislation that achieves that better than this proposed act.

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has faithfully served our community for three decades.