Tuition Credit Survives Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on April 4 tossed out a challenge to Arizona’s tuition tax credit program. That initiative in many cases directs scholarship money to private schools, including Catholic schools. The 5-to-4 ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, held that Arizona taxpayers lack jurisdiction for challenging the program. He argued that because the support is generated through tax credits for donations to scholarship organizations, no actual state spending is involved. In a strong dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said that because of the program the state lost an estimated $350 million in revenue. “The court’s arbitrary distinction threatens to eliminate all occasions for a taxpayer to contest the government’s monetary support of religion. Precisely because appropriations and tax breaks can achieve identical objectives,” wrote Kagan, “the government can easily substitute one for the other.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

The tête-à-tête between Paul Krugman and Nancy Pelosi in Manhattan was like a documentary about a once-popular rock band. (Rod Morata/Michael Priest Photography)
Speaking in a deep blue stronghold, the Democratic leader of the House calls for “civility” and cautiously hopes that she will again wield the speaker’s gavel in January.
Brandon SanchezOctober 16, 2018
The lecture provoked no hostile reaction from the students who heard it. But a media firestorm erupted.
John J. ConleyOctober 16, 2018
Though the current synod appears to lack the sort of drama and high-stakes debates of the previous two, the role of conscience appears to be a common thread.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 16, 2018
When Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the Olympic podium, their act drew widespread criticism. Now Colin Kaepernick is the face of Nike.
Michael McKinleyOctober 16, 2018