Foundation Calls Veto of AZ Tax Credit Program a Travesty

INDIANAPOLIS – The Foundation for Educational Choice today called Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of the expansion of an education tax credit program a “sad travesty” and urged the governor to rethink her veto immediately.

“Gov. Brewer has been a friend of school choice, but her veto flies in the face of her past support and is a tragedy for the thousands of children who need greater educational options,” said Robert Enlow, President and CEO of the Foundation.

“Everyone knows that when states expand tax credit programs, it saves state budgets money since it costs less to educate children with a tax credit scholarship,” added Enlow. “That’s why Gov. Brewer’s veto makes no sense.”

The proposal adopted by the Arizona Legislature and vetoed this week would have increased the amount of tax credit that taxpayers would have earned if they donated to Arizona’s School Tuition Organizations. The legislation would have lifted the cap on the amount of money that could have been donated under the state’s corporate program and expanded its base of funding.

“Arizona students are waiting in line for scholarships yet Gov. Brewer chose to veto a vehicle that would have given children more choice,” Enlow said.

In 2009, there were 27,582 students who earned scholarships averaging $1,889 under the Arizona Corporate School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program and the Individual School Tuition Organization Tax Credit Program.

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arizona’s tax credit program was constitutional. It said that the program passed constitutional muster because those that challenged the program – especially the American Civil Liberties Union – didn’t have standing to bring suit to the court and those that contributed to scholarship organizations did so on a voluntary basis.