(The Center Square) — Proposed legislation would increase the cap on the state’s tax credit scholarship program a year after lawmakers raised it.
The proposed measure, House Bill 54, would increase the cap from $120 million annually to $200 million per year starting in 2024. The state’s tax credit scholarship program, enacted in 2008, allows individuals and corporations to use part of their state tax obligation for private school scholarships.
“This expansion would bring educational opportunities to thousands more students in Georgia,” Buzz Brockway, vice president of public policy for the Georgia Center for Opportunity, said in a statement.
Last year, lawmakers approved House Bill 517, which increased the cap from $100 million to $120 million for 2023. However, on Jan. 3, taxpayer applications for the credit exceeded the $120 million cap, and as a result, the Georgia Department of Revenue prorated taxpayer applications.
“It’s clear that demand for the program is strong. The existing $120 million cap was met on the very first day of applications this year,” Brockway added. “Georgia families are demanding more options, and lawmakers would be wise to take notice.”
HB 517 also removed the program’s sunset provision and increased taxpayer contribution limits for “qualified education expenses” from $1,000 to $2,500 for single filers, from $2,500 to $5,000 for joint filers and $10,000 to $25,000 for owners of pass-through businesses, such as LLCs. Under the law, taxpayers are allowed a credit for “the actual amount expended” or the revised limit, “whichever is less.”
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor