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$36 million pledged for new scholarship program on first day

Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018

* Peoria Journal Star

Jan. 1 may be the start of the new year, but Jan. 2 marks the start of a controversial new program that adds up to millions in tax breaks for Illinois residents and millions more in scholarships for private-school students.

If Illinois follows the history of other states, taxpayers will be up and online early Tuesday, snapping up a maximum of $75 million in tax credits available for making donations to the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

The tax credits, administered by the Illinois Department of Revenue, translate to as much as $100 million in scholarship donations to parochial and private schools throughout the state.

* Last week

“Many of my clients are very interested in it,” said Neil Kawashima, a tax attorney with McDermott, Will & Emery who counsels wealthy individuals and families. “Obviously [there’s] the philanthropic benefit of helping low-income children obtain scholarships for tuition to private schools and parochial schools, but also there are significant tax benefits as well.”

He expects all the tax credits the state has set aside could be claimed within “days” because there are annual online stampedes for the credits in other states with similar plans.

* Crain’s

And if other states are any indication, Illinois will want to brace for some serious interest: In Georgia, one of 17 others with a similar subsidy, all available tax credits have been snapped up by donors on New Year’s Day each year since 2015.

Illinois apparently ain’t Georgia.

* Governor’s office press release…

Illinois’ new Invest in Kids scholarship program — which gives low- to middle-income students opportunities to attend non-public schools that best meet their educational goals — attracted more than $36 million in pledged contributions on Tuesday, Jan. 2, the first day the state began accepting applications, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today.

Taxpayers can contribute up to $1.3 million to eligible organizations and receive an income tax credit equal to 75 percent of their approved contributions. The state caps total yearly contributions at $100 million.

“When we unleash the power of private-sector investment incentives like Invest in Kids, great things are possible,” Rauner said. “Within its first hour of going live, more than one-third of all Invest in Kids contributions have been allocated for the 2018 tax year. This outpouring of generosity is truly a testament to the many Illinoisans who believe in offering students and their families a choice in their education.”

Taxpayers wishing to contribute to Invest in Kids may apply online through MyTax Illinois, the Illinois Department of Revenue’s free online account management program.

Individuals and businesses must apply to the Illinois Department of Revenue to obtain Contribution Authorization Certificates that permit them to make authorized contributions to one of the approved scholarship granting organizations. Those organizations, in turn, provide scholarships for eligible Illinois students to attend qualified non-public schools in Illinois. The application process ensures equal access to the $75 million in tax credits available each year.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    When you misled a Catholic Cardinal, you’d hope to make it up somehow.

    Rauner wants that $100 million to offset HB40

    Raunerism has a price for everything.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    Looks like football and basketball recruiting in the Catholic League is off to a fast start.

  3. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    With the SALT capped and the standard deduction doubled, the federal tax advantages of charitable contributions are a lot less in 2018 than 2017, except for really big givers (because a lot fewer people will itemize and if you don’t itemize, no charitable deduction).

  4. - Piece of Work - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    Grand, good people give to charities because it is the right thing to do. You don’t give $100 to save $10+, you do it to help people in need.

  5. - OK - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    Pierce -

    Try give $100 to save $75.

    And maybe a federal tax benefit on top of that if they structure it the right way.

  6. - Texas Red - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    This will open up educational choice to low/middle income families that happen to live in failing school districts.

  7. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    How many AFSCME families would be able to contribute if only Rauner had complied with the tolling agreement and paid step increases?

  8. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Anyway to find out who has made the donations?

  9. - Nick - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    Any way to find out which schools?

  10. - Sue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    Nick Name- I am sure that’s just what your Union breatheren would be using the step increases for

  11. - Nick - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:47 pm:


    I bet they’d be more apt to make more charitable gifts whether it be to the scholarship program or other worthy causes

  12. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    ==This will open up educational choice to low/middle income families that happen to live in failing school districts.==

    Only if you live in an area where there are choices. And only if you get picked - because, you know, private schools get to pick who they want to come in.

  13. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    ==Union breatheren==

    Sigh. New year. Same union hate.

  14. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    This could not have passed without good Irish Catholics Mike Madigan and John Cullerton also wanting to make it up to the Cardinal OW.

  15. - Texas Red - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    “Any way to find out which schools?”

  16. - illini - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:13 pm:

    Unfortunately, as I understand it, the new tax laws will potentially have a negative impact on monies that many private, and public, Universities have come to expect for their endowments. Higher Ed could take a real hit that will impact the financial aid they can offer prospective students.

  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:43 pm:

    What happens to the money I’ve donated if my kid doesn’t get into a private school?

  18. - SAP - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    ==Looks like football and basketball recruiting in the Catholic League is off to a fast start.== I’d like to make an early nomination for comment of the year.

  19. - Sue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 6:08 pm:

    Demoralized- considering what public sector unions have done to Illinois- I have a lot of company. Perhaps you don’t mind seeing our State destroyed and people leaving by the bus load

  20. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 7:05 pm:

    ==Perhaps you don’t mind seeing our State destroyed==

    Perhaps I don’t blame unions for all of the ills in the state. But then again I’m not a hater looking for a single scapegoat for everything.

  21. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 8:04 pm:

    I think we know who would win the majority vote to be the single scapegoat for all of Illinois problems

  22. - Ariel - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 8:35 pm:

    You get the best Web advertising and marketing options.

  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:32 pm:

    –This could not have passed without good Irish Catholics Mike Madigan and John Cullerton also wanting to make it up to the Cardinal OW.–

    LOL, it was a chi-chi bean face-saving out for Rauner to get the schools open.

    The man made a fool of himself in front of the cameras claiming that his veto of the “Chicago bailout bill” could be sustained by a “simple majority.” He demonstrated that he literally did not have a clue about his job.

    His deer-in-the-headlight flop-sweat when he was called on it marked the end of the media’s kid-glove treatment.

    As a white male, I believe that was BTIA’s(TM) signature moment.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:41 pm:

    ===This could not have passed without good Irish Catholics Mike Madigan and John Cullerton also wanting to make it up to the Cardinal OW.===

    Did Cullerton or Madigan lie to the Cardinal?

    Blase Cardinal Cupich only listed Rauner fibbing to him.

    Good try, thou.

  25. - - Thursday, Jan 4, 18 @ 5:27 am:

    Amazon Web Providers is an Equal Alternative Employer.

  26. - Whatever - Thursday, Jan 4, 18 @ 8:31 am:

    OK and Grand Avenue — the credit is allowed for these contributions only if the contributor does NOT claim a federal income tax deduction for the contribution.

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