By Brooklyn Reader

April 3, 2015, 2:56 pm

  Click here to view original web page at www.kingscountypolitics.com

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For Kensington resident and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish mother, Hinda (doesn’t want last name published), sending their three girls and four boys to Yeshivas is costing her and her husband a small fortune that includes $12,000 a year for the girls and $9,000 per year for the boys, which doesn’t include building and dinner fees.

“Some of these schools they call affordable, but they’re not,” said Hinda, who lives with her family in a cramped walk-up apartment, and like her husband, works full-time. “I can’t even dream of not working and taking a break and there’s nothing extra.”

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

But now parents like Hinda and her husband may soon get a tax break thanks to legislation that Flatbush/MIdwood Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte recently introduced in Albany.

Dubbed the Education Tax Credit, the measure would give every parent up to $500 or 12.5 percent of their tuition up to $5000, as a tax refund per child-in addition to the $1,000 refund that New York State currently offers parents.

For example, if Jane Doe has four children and all of them are enrolled in a parochial school, she will get a total of $6,000 in refunds: $1,000 per child like everyone else, plus $500 per child for school tuition.

Bichotte’s legislation is a direct response to an intense lobbying push for the Education Income Tax Credit (EITC) a bill that is supposed to provide additional funds for private, parochial and even public schools, and ultimately was rejected as part of the recently passed 2015-16 fiscal year state budget.

The EITC, which Borough Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind is championing, indirectly attempts to support education by offering a tax incentive for educational contributions made by corporations and wealthy philanthropists.

For example, if a millionaire decides to charitably donate $1 million to an educational private institution, the EITC will offer $750,000 back to the millionaire in tax credits while allowing the ability to still deduct 10 percent off the remaining $250,000.

“That same millionaire would then be able to cherry pick what institution the scholarship fund goes to. Parents must hope that incentive will spur a large corporation or philanthropist to contribute to their children’s school-and then hope that contribution results in a tuition reduction,” said Bichotte.

I support a more direct approach in relieving parents of the financial burden,” she added.

Hikind’s office did not return an email at post time inquiring whether he would consider melding the two bills together, which conceivably could draw more legislative support as one measure.

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