KY Lawmaker: There’s no will to slip private school scholarship tax credits into revenue bill

KY Lawmaker: There’s no will to slip private school scholarship tax credits into revenue bill
Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky teachers concerned that private school scholarship tax credits will be slipped into another bill, may not need to be concerned about House Bill 354.

That’s the tax clean up legislation some thought might end up including the scholarship tax credits protesters have said hurt public education funding.

Members of a conference committee did not discuss private school scholarship tax credits in their meeting Tuesday.

Instead, they focused on making fixes to the way nonprofits are taxed.

The Kentucky Nonprofit Network applauded the committee on Twitter posting the bill would now exempt sales tax on all 501(c)(3)s and admissions, adding it would also do the same for fundraising event sales, as long as sales are not part of ongoing business operations competing with for-profit businesses.

Agreements also included a change to the taxation of wagering losses to address concerns of the horse racing industry.

Committee chair Representative Steven Rudy, (R) Paducah, said the group is not interested in including language similar to HB 205.

“The scholarship tax credit, I don't think there's a will to include that in this measure,” Rudy said. “We've had some good debate and discussion about that in committee during the last week, but I don't think this is the appropriate vehicle."

Rudy said the group will meet again Wednesday morning to make final changes.

He said HB 354 could pass Wednesday as well.

Charles Leis, President of EdChoice Kentucky, released the following statement regarding what he calls “the General Assembly’s failure to pass Scholarship Tax Credit legislation."

“Throughout the 2019 General Assembly, it was our sincere hope that the Kentucky General Assembly would put kids first and ensure all students, no matter their income or zip code, have access to the educational opportunities they need. We are extremely disappointed in the lack of movement of House Bill 205, legislation to create a Scholarship Tax Credit program in Kentucky. The legislation would level the playing field by allowing private entities to fund financial aid for vulnerable Kentucky students to attend the school that is best for their individual needs. The failure to advance HB205 means that lower-income families will remain disadvantaged in getting their children into the school that is best for them.”

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