Senate President willing to consider cap on school tax credits

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

His change of heart comes as he announced Thursday he will no longer be the executive director and general counsel of the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization

The architect of an ever-increasing siphoning off of state tax revenues to help send students to private and parochial schools said Thursday he’s now willing to consider a cap — now that the diversion has topped $74 million a year.

Senate President Steve Yarbrough acknowledged that he has been a staunch defender of the tax credits originally available only to individual taxpayers. And the Chandler Republican was the sponsor of a major expansion of the law, allowing corporations to give what they would otherwise owe the state in income taxes instead to organizations that provide scholarships for the private schools.

Most significant is that Yarbrough demanded — and got — an annual escalator clause, boosting the amount that corporations can divert by 20 percent a year.

For this year, the cap is $74.3 million. That rises to nearly $89.2 million next year, $107 million the year after that and more than $128 million the following year.

And there is no limit.


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