Saturday, January 28, 2017

Remember when sending kids to private schools meant helping the poor escape failing public education?

Manufacturing and big Ag aren't paying state taxes anymore. Now we're finding out the wealthy aren't paying much for their kids to go to private schools.

Anyone see a pattern? You better soon...

Tax filers making more than $100,000 a year are claiming two-thirds of a private school tuition tax cut enacted four years ago, according to data from the Department of Revenue.
The tax cut is costing the state about $12 million a year ... Families sending students to private school can reduce their adjusted gross income by up to $10,000 for high school tuition and up to $4,000 for elementary school tuition. The private school tuition exclusion, similar to an exclusion for a retirement account contribution, reduces a tax filer’s income before deductions and credits are applied, so the actual amount in tax savings is a few hundred dollars per tax filer. Unlike a tax deduction, filers don’t have to itemize to benefit from it.

Almost $8 million of the total $12 million cut went to families in the top 13 percent of income earners in the state in 2015. A total of 20,560 tax filers making more than $100,000 claimed the exclusion, receiving a tax cut of about $388 per filer, according to DOR. Another 16,750 filers earning less than $100,000 claimed the exclusion. Their average tax savings was $235.

That wealthier tax filers receive a greater benefit is not surprising because they are more likely to send their children to private school, said Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. Pattern of tax cuts: Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D), said the private school tuition tax break is part of a pattern for Republicans of supporting tax cuts that benefit the wealthy. Democrats have also criticized the Manufacturing & Agriculture tax credit for wiping out tax liability for wealthy individuals and corporations without any requirement they create jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in 2013 the tax cut would boost private school enrollment, reducing the “huge tax burden” of educating students in public schools. 
 Educating our kids in public schools is a burden? Good to know:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers said his biggest concern with the tax credit was that it was passed without a public hearing. He also noted the number of referendums ... “If indeed a whole bunch of people in Wisconsin think they need to go to referendum in order to offer the education kids need, that tells me the state isn’t meeting its obligation. If the state is not meeting its obligation to schools, then how can we afford to subsidize private education for above-average income people?”

Rick Melcher, another candidate for state superintendent, called the tuition tax cut a “benefit package for wealthy individuals who would send their children to private school anyway.” He recommended capping eligibility for the tax cut at those making less than $100,000.
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