The Senate Education Committee held a hearing on HB 1686, a bill that would allow individuals to receive a tax credit for donations to the state’s Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program.
State Senators heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would expand the state’s only existing school choice program.
Under the existing system, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they make donations to scholarships which can be used on private school or homeschool expenses.
A bill sponsored by Republican representative Gregory Hill would expand the program to allow individuals to donate and get a credit on their interest and dividends tax.
“In the past scholarship year, in excess of 70 qualified families had to be told that their child or children would either have to stay in the school where they weren’t thriving or find alternatives on their own as scholarship money just wasn’t available.”
Democratic Representative Susan Almy argued against the bill, telling the Senate Ways and Means Committee that it would help the wealthy at the expense of tax revenues and the poor.
“Not only will the tax go down, but the perception of the people outside this body that our tax system is unfair to them, is going to grow.”
The bill has already passed in the House.
The ETC program grants scholarships to families attending private or home school programs through an independent organization, the Children’s Scholarship Program. The scholarship program has been in place since 2012 and is different than the voucher bill, SB 193, which is a state-funded program that allows all eligible families to receive scholarships.
Eight Republican Senators sponsored a bill this session that would have phased out the interest and dividends tax completely by 2024. The bill was killed earlier in the year.