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Senate Stalls Private School Tax Deduction Once Again

April 29, 1998
By: Lucas Wall
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Another attempt to pass a tax deduction for parents who send their children to private high schools failed in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Senators opposed to the income tax deduction of up to $2,500 for high-school expenses offered numerous amendments and managed to keep debate going past 1 a.m. The bill, a House-approved measure that would change some tax filing provisions, quickly became a vehicle for tax-cut amendments.

Opponents were able to filibuster a Senate bill two weeks ago that contained the school-expenses deduction. With the two bills now apparently dead, legislators have the remaining two weeks of session to work out a tax cut. If they don't, about $120 million in projected excess state revenue will have to be refunded under the state constitution's Hancock Amendment.

Religious groups have pushed for the deduction as a way to help out parents who pay tuition to send their children to private high schools. But many senators strongly object to the deduction as a violation of the separation of church and state and fear it would hurt public education.


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