Failing school scholarship tax credit schedule released

The State Department of Education and the Department of Revenue today announced administrative steps toward complying with the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 that allows student transfers from failing schools and creates tax credits for parents and for individual and corporate scholarship contributions.

State School Superintendent Tommy Bice today identified 78 failing Alabama public schools in 21 county and 13 city school systems whose students will be eligible to transfer to other public schools or  a qualified private school under certain conditions beginning in the 2013-14 school year.

The Business Council of Alabama supported legislation in the 2013 legislative session allowing for increased flexibility from state mandates for traditional public schools. The BCA encourages its members to financially support schools.

Tax credits of up to $3,500 will be available to parents whose students transfer from failing to non-failing public or qualifying private schools.

The Department of Revenue also today released its rule-making schedule for complying with the portion of the law that allows tax credits for personal and corporate scholarships.

The AAA of 2013 allows 501(c) (3) Scholarship Granting Organizations to receive corporate contributions that will be eligible for tax credits not to exceed 50 percent of a taxpayer’s liability. Individuals may receive a tax credit of up to $7,500 for contributing to a Scholarship Granting Organization not to exceed 50 percent of the individual or jointly filed taxpayers’ liability.

The individual and corporate tax credits will be capped at a cumulative $25 million annually.

Department of Revenue spokeswoman Carla Snellgrove said the DOR is to file its proposed rules with the Legislative Reference Service on Thursday for publication in the June 30 Alabama Administrative Monthly. The proposed rules should be available on the ADOR’s Web site on Friday.

Snellgrove said application forms for prospective SGOs and non-public schools will be available on the ADOR’s Web site on July 1. The Department will release its list of qualified SGOs and non-public schools on Aug. 1. A scholarship donation Web site will be up and running also on Aug. 1 for individuals and corporations to enter donations, Snellgrove said.

She said the ADOR plans a rule-making public hearing on Aug. 5.

-Dana Beyerle