Press Release: Donor Towns are back in SB 372, the Senate Education Tax Credit (School Voucher) Bill, 1/17/12

posted Jan 18, 2012, 7:33 AM by Bill Duncan
Press Release
Defending New Hampshire Public Education
Contact: Bill Duncan 603-682-4748

Donor Towns are back in SB 372, the Senate Education Tax Credit (School Voucher) Bill

Defending New Hampshire Public Education, a group of New Hampshire citizens dedicated to opposing anti-public education legislation in the New Hampshire Legislature, has released an analysis of the fiscal impact of SB 372 and HB 1607, the two companion bills that would establish an Education Tax Credit (school voucher) program in New Hampshire.

The DNHPE analysis, here, concludes that House Bill 1607 bill would cost the State of New Hampshire over $123 million over 5 years, before the as-yet undetermined administrative costs.  The DNHPE projection is that the Senate companion bill, SB 372,  would cost over $60 million (plus administrative costs). The savings in the Senate bill comes from a state take-back of "adequacy funding" from New Hampshire towns.  For each child leaving public schools with a scholarship (or voucher) to attend a private or home school, SB 372 would take back the State Wide Education Property Tax as well as the State Aid for that child. Over the first 5 years of the program, that reduction in state support for local school districts could be as much as $62 million. 

In taking the State Wide Education Property Tax, SB 372 would make most New Hampshire communities donor towns, sending property tax funds to state government to offset the tax credits offered to businesses to fund private school vouchers.  A listing of each New Hampshire town and the amounts to be returned to the state under SB 372 is here. 

Bill Duncan, DNHPE analyst, said, "Our analysis shows that even by taking back the adequacy funding and re-instituting donor towns, the current form of the Education Tax Credit program cannot be made revenue neutral.  The numbers just don't work."

Legislative committee hearing dates on HB 1607 and SB 372 have been set and are as follows:

HB 1607 - House Ways and Means Committee, Monday, 1/23/2012 2:00 PM LOB 202 Schedule changes and updates appear here.
SB 372 - Senate Education Committee, Tuesday, 1/24/12, Room 103, LOB, 1:00 p.m.   Schedule changes and updates appear here.