School tax credits could be on the chopping block

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Other options also being discussed

PHOENIX - You may count on it as a tax write-off and your kids and schools count on it to fund their fieldtrips but the popular tax credit could be on the chopping block.

This comes as lawmakers look at cutbacks dealing with our budget deficit.

According to House democrats, everything is on the table when it comes to where to cut. One such proposal being considered is doing away with education tax credits, funding which helps public schools pay for extra-curricular activities and private schools cover tuition costs.

Sixteen-year-old Adan Nu±ez says he loves the brotherly camaraderie at Brophy and his courses. "That's one thing I wanted, a challenge in the academic sense."

But growing up in south Phoenix when Adan and his parents looked into Brophy and saw the annual $12,000 he says, "My parents were like, 'We don't think you can do this'."

Fortunately he was able to attend his dream school with the help of financial aid.

Dawn Kennedy, executive director at Brophy Community Foundation, says, "The tax credit has been a tremendous help for our financial aid program here at Brophy."

Now that tax credit could be in jeopardy for thousands of students across the state. The reason is because it is costing Arizona millions of dollars and that is money the state no longer has.

Chad Campbell, a democrat whip, explains, "We're not saying we should get rid of every tax credit, but we will examine them and decide what to do."

As to the argument of keeping the tax credit and skimming back elsewhere Campbell says, "If you're looking at losing a tax credit vs. cutting $1 billion from education system overall, it doesn't make sense to be giving tax credits (that total less than $100 million) and then on back end cutting ten times that amount from education department funding."

Another option lawmakers are considering is not suspending the tax credit entirely but creating a 50% match, as opposed to 100%.