Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, submitted comments to the U.S. Treasury Department expressing deep concern over proposed tax regulations that would undermine state-sponsored scholarship programs that enable thousands of students to attend Jewish day schools.
The proposed regulations are to implement the new limits to the deductibility of the State and Local Tax (SALT) payments contained in the new tax law Congress passed last year. The proposed regulations would provide that individual taxpayers who receive a state or local tax credit for contributing to state-supported scholarship programs would have to reduce any charitable deduction for that contribution on their federal taxes by the amount of the state tax credit. Such state-supported education tax credit programs exist in more than 15 states.
The proposed rules would particularly harm Jewish day schools and yeshivas in Pennsylvania and Florida, where 40 percent and 25 percent of Jewish day school students, respectively, receive tax credit scholarships worth more than $31 million combined. The Orthodox Union has been working together with other leading school choice organizations to modify the proposed regulations so they don’t harm existing tax credit programs.
“The regulations, if implemented, will significantly depress financial contributions to K-12 scholarship programs and wreak financial havoc on many schools and families across the United States,” the Orthodox Union’s comments state.
Said Orthodox Union Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament:
“Changes to the tax law should not be made at the expense of educational opportunity. Existing tax credit programs provide hundreds of thousands of children access to a quality education that their families wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.”
Said OU President Mark (Moishe) Bane:
“President Trump has called educational opportunity ‘the civil rights issue of our time.’ We urge the Treasury Department to ensure that IRS regulations are consistent with this policy priority.”