Apr 072010

By Anne Marie Amacher

School Tuition Organization tax credits have been retained in Iowa – at the existing rate.

According to the Tom Chapman, executive director of the Iowa Catholic Conference, the Senate accepted a House amendment to Senate File 2380 that saved the tax credits from being reduced.

Originally the bill had a 10 percent cut in tax credits for donations to scholarship funds for low-income children to attend accredited, nonpublic schools.

Donors will continue to receive a 65 percent tax credit on their donations to the scholarship funds.

Steve Roling, executive director of the STO of Southeast Iowa said, “This is extremely important to all the STOs in the state. The proposed cuts would have severely hampered the program.

“Our organization awarded 488 tuition grants totaling $703,958 for the current school year,” he said. “We expect to reach our contribution goal again this year. Most of our contributions come in December, but we encourage people to give earlier to avoid being shut out of the program.”

Each year, the STO of Southeast Iowa has turned away several generous donors who would have benefited from the credit, but waited until late December to make their contribution. All credits had been awarded.

Roling said the STO tax credit program is now in its fifth year. Interest in the program has grown each year as the word spreads about the benefits to donors and students.

In other news of interest to the Catholic community, Gov. Chet Culver signed SF 2178, which allows state textbook funds to buy laptop computers for use in nonpublic schools.

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