Senate Bill 0528
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DIGEST OF SB528 (Updated February 19, 2009 4:35 pm - DI 84)
School scholarship tax credit. Provides that a taxpayer is entitled to a state tax credit for a contribution to a scholarship granting organization. Provides that the contribution must be used by the scholarship granting organization in a scholarship program to provide scholarships to eligible students. Specifies that the amount of a taxpayer's credit is equal to 50% of the amount of the contribution made to the scholarship granting organization for a school scholarship program. Limits the total amount of tax credits that may be awarded to $5,000,000 in any state fiscal year. Defines "eligible student" as an individual who: (1) has legal settlement in Indiana; (2) is between five and 22 years of age; (3) either has been or is currently enrolled in a participating school; (4) either is a member of a household with an annual income of not more than 200% of the amount required for the individual to qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program or the individual received a scholarship in the immediately preceding school year or school term and qualified under the income requirements in the first year that the individual received a scholarship; and (5) meets at least one of the following conditions: (A) The individual is enrolling in kindergarten. (B) The individual was enrolled in a public school during the school year preceding the first school year for which a scholarship granting organization provides a scholarship. (C) The individual received a scholarship from the Educational CHOICE Charitable Trust for the 2008-2009 school year. (D) The individual received a school scholarship for the previous school year. Sets forth a process for the department of state revenue (department) to certify a scholarship program administered by a scholarship granting organization. Specifies that a participating school may be a public or nonpublic school that an eligible student is required to pay tuition or transfer tuition to attend. Provides that a scholarship granting organization must: (1) distribute at least 90% of the total amount of contributions as school scholarships to eligible students; and (2) distribute 100% of any income earned on contributions as school scholarships to eligible students. Provides that the scholarships are used for tuition (including transfer tuition) and fees that would otherwise be charged by a participating school to eligible students or parents of eligible students. Requires a participating school to either administer the ISTEP tests or administer another nationally recognized and norm-referenced assessment of the school's students. Provides that a program may not be certified as a school scholarship program if the program: (1) limits a recipient of a school scholarship to attending specific participating schools; or (2) limits the ability of a recipient of a school scholarship to change attendance from one (1) participating school to another participating school. Requires a scholarship granting organization to contract with an independent certified public accountant for an annual financial audit of the scholarship granting organization. Requires the scholarship granting organization to provide a copy of the annual financial audit to the department and to make the annual financial audit available to a member of the public upon request.
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