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Pol Touts New Tax Credit

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He’s taking the show on the road. After an unveiling in Marine Park, State Senator Marty Golden pitched his proposed education tax credit to parents in Dyker Heights. The legislation was discussed at St. Bernadette’s School, located at 1313 83rd Street. The bill calls for parents making less than $90,000 a year to receive an annual tax credit of up to $1,500 per child or $3,000 per family. The credit would be available to parents of children in kindergarten to 12th grade in public, parochial, and private schools, as well as those who are home-schooled. “An education tax credit would significantly help all parents of school-aged children to pay for school tuition and other educational expenses including textbooks, tutoring, personal computers and educational software,” Golden said. A tax credit “can go a long way,” he said. Parents of students in parochial and private schools have been especially supportive of the tax credit, saying it would help them meet high education costs. To send their kids to these schools, parents pay thousands of dollars every year. At one local parochial school, patrons of the church are charged $3,100 per year for one child, $4,700 for two, and $6,125 for three. Those who are not patrons of the church are charged $3,350 per child. There is an additional $500 charge to cover parent association fees, mandatory fundraising costs, and material fees, which include textbooks. With such financial demands, one parochial school parent called a tax credit “important.” Golden’s proposal would also provide an annual tax credit of no more than $250 to teachers who use their own money to purchase instructional supplies for qualified schools. The senator is not the only state legislator to call for an education tax credit this year. In his $110.7 billion state budget, Governor George Pataki outlined a credit of $500 per child for parents of kids who live in school districts with underperforming schools. His legislation is also intended to help parents pay for academic enrichment services, such as tutoring, after-school programs, and tuition to private or parochial schools. Critics of the tax credits insist that they provide incentives for parents to enroll their children in private rather than public schools. However, Golden has said he expects 80 percent of the tax credits to go to parents of public school students.

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