Catholic Church pushes back on plan to reduce tax credit for scholarships – About Your Online Magazine


The Illinois Catholic Conference is lobbying against proposed tax changes for fiscal year 2022 that would reduce an income tax credit earned through donations to private scholarships.

In a letter released on Tuesday, Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago joined the bishops representing the other five state dioceses – administrative districts under the Catholic Church – asking Catholics to call their local lawmakers and ask to oppose the measure proposed by Governor JB Pritzker, which they called “an important issue of public policy and social justice”.

The February governor’s draft budget for the fiscal year proposes nine policy changes to the corporate tax code. One of these changes applies to companies and individuals: a reduction in the state income tax credit obtained by donating to an organization that grants an approved scholarship.

The organization that grants the scholarship must provide tuition to the children of families whose income is equal to or less than 300% of the federal poverty level for that area of ​​the census sector. Many of the grants go to the private education of Catholic educational institutions in the state.

“We ask that you simply call state lawmakers and urge them to oppose the governor’s plan to cut the Invest in Kids program and, instead, support efforts to extend and improve the Invest in Kids scholarship tax credit,” they said. the bishops in the letter.

Under current law, 75% of the donation can be claimed as a credit for the state’s income tax. If Pritzker’s preferred budget were approved, the credit would be reduced to 40% of the donation.

This law was originally put into effect as part of the Investing in Children Act during budget negotiations under former Republican governor Bruce Rauner in 2017. It was part of the package to create an evidence-based financing formula to reform the way in which state finances public school.

Pritzker received criticism from business leaders and Republican lawmakers for referring to his suggestions for tax changes as “closing corporate loopholes” since they were originally implemented as deliberate policy changes under previous governors or from Pritzker himself.

Three of the nine proposed changes eliminate or reduce the fiscal incentive measures approved by Pritzker during the 2019 budget negotiations.

The governor promised to balance the Illinois budget for the next fiscal year, keeping government income taxes and spending stable.

Estimates from the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Governor’s Office of Administration and Budget say the budget plan, if approved, would result in a $ 120 million surplus at the end of the fiscal year.

Paula Fonseca