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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 8, 2016 12:32 PM
From: Representative Mike Turzai
To: All House members
Subject: Educational Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Increases
I am preparing to introduce legislation that will increase the amount of tax credits available under the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program by $50 million (to $175 million) and the amount of tax credits available under the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) program by $25 million (to $75 million), to grow school choice opportunities and help more students escape from failing schools.

As you know, strengthening school choice opportunities, especially for those students who would not otherwise be able to attend a school of their choice, has been a priority for the General Assembly, through both the EITC and OSTC programs. This past July, the General Assembly increased the amount of available EITC tax credits by $25 million, expanding the EITC program from $100 million available in 2015-2016 to $125 million available in 2016-2017. This boosts the availability of scholarships for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12, as well as funding for innovative educational programs.

To follow up on our important work last summer, my proposed legislation will increase the amount of tax credits available under both the EITC and OSTC programs. First, my proposal will further expand the amount of available EITC tax credits by $50 million, with the increase allocated proportionally among scholarship organizations, educational improvement organizations, and pre-kindergarten scholarship programs. Second, my bill will increase the amount of available OSTC tax credits by $25 million. The OSTC program, which was created by the General Assembly in 2012, is different from the EITC program in that the OSTC program dedicates tax credits toward businesses that contribute to scholarship programs aimed specifically at students trapped in underperforming schools. While the General Assembly constantly seeks to improve academic outcomes for all children, the OSTC program provides critical educational opportunities for kids who desperately need the chance to succeed.

Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB250