Georgia’s tax credit program for private schools overcame a legal challenge Monday, June 26, when the state Supreme Court ruled that the taxpayers suing the state Department of Revenue lacked standing to bring the case.
The Qualified Education Tax Credit Program has been a boon for Jewish day schools and preschools since 2008. Under the program, singles may donate up to $1,000 each and couples may give up to $2,500 to student scholarship funds, such as the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta-established ALEF Fund, which pass the money on to designated private schools, including religious schools, to provide scholarships to students.
Donors get a dollar-for-dollar credit on their state income taxes. The tax credit program has helped more than 13,000 students a year.
Several Fulton County residents sued, claiming that the program violates the Georgia Constitution by providing public money to religious institutions. But the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that tax credits are the not the same as state expenses and that the program uses only private donations. Therefore, the plaintiffs aren’t being harmed and have no case.