To: House Finance and Taxation Committee
From: Christopher T. Dodson, Executive Director
Subject: House Bill 1478 (Tax Credit for Contributions to School Districts and Nonpublic Schools)
Date: January 22, 2007

The North Dakota Catholic Conference supports House Bill 1478.

House Bill 1478 recognizes and helps North Dakotans who contribute to the education of our state’s children, whether they attend a public school or a nonpublic school. Throughout the state, schools struggle to keep up with the costs of educating our children. Contributions from the private sector towards the cost of education should be encouraged. Providing a tax credit is one way to do that.

By providing a limited tax credit for parents who have made tuition payments, HB 1478 acknowledges the sacrifices parents make in order to provide what they have determined is the best education for their children.

The most important reason, however, to support House Bill 1478 is to help those most in need. Parents may have the right to choose where to educate their children, but that right means nothing if the cost is beyond their means. Not only would House Bill 1478 directly help those parents have a real choice, it would also encourage contributions by others that can go to scholarships for those in need.

The economic challenges experienced by some families extend to entire communities. Those communities face unique additional challenges when it comes to educating their children. By providing a tax credit for contributions to public school districts, House Bill 1478 can help encourage donations to those districts.

The North Dakota Catholic Conference supports House Bill 1478 as a means to help all families and communities, especially those most in need. We ask for a
Do Pass recommendation.