Tax Credits for Religious Schools Survive Challenge
A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that taxpayers opposing an Arizona tax credit that benefits religious schools lacked legal standing to challenge it because any financial benefit to religion under the program is not the result of government spending choices.
“When the government collects and spends taxpayer money, governmental choices are responsible for the transfer of wealth,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the 5-4 majority in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn (Case No. 09-987). “Here, by contrast, contributions result from the decisions of private taxpayers regarding their own funds.”
The court ruled in a challenge to Arizona’s 14-year-old tuition-aid plan, under which taxpayers can receive a dollar-for-dollar credit of up to $500 (or $1,000 for married couples) on their state income-tax returns for donations to “school...
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