The Senate voted to send a bill that would expand New Hampshire’s Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program to the Finance Committee on April 26 in a 13-10 vote. Currently, businesses can donate to the ETC Scholarship Program and receive a break on their profits and enterprise tax bill, but the bill expands the credit to individuals who pay an interest and dividends tax, as well.
A bill that would expand the state’s only school choice program is one step closer to becoming law.
House Bill 1686 would expand the program to allow individuals who pay the interest and dividends tax to donate and then receive a tax credit.
Republican Senator Andy Sanborn says the bill will increase the number of scholarships available to families looking for educational opportunities outside of the public school system.
“To make sure that they can get a good education, to make sure they can find that place where their square meets the square peg in the hole,” said Sanborn.
Opponents of the measure, including Democratic Senator Dan Feltes, raised concerns about the bill’s impact on state tax revenues.
“There is no offset in the general fund for this — none,” said Feltes. “Where is the fiscal responsibility in this? I don’t think it’s here.”
The bill was approved by the Senate on a 13-10 vote. It next heads to the Senate Finance Committee.
The ETC Scholarship Program awards scholarships averaging around $2,500 and can be used for private school tuition (including religious schools), public school outside of the student’s home district, or for homeschooling expenses.
More about the ETC Program:
- Reaching Higher NH’s Policy Brief: New Hampshire Education Tax Credit
- Education tax credit program had a 77% increase in donations last year
- Tax credit expansion bill for private & home school scholarships moves through Senate