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Nearly $2M Diverted from Oklahoma Tax Credits for Private School Tuition to Pay Parents’ Debts – Check Legislative Updates & Program Details!

$2M Redirected to Pay Parents’ Debts

Governor Stitt Signs Law Preventing Diversion of $2M from Oklahoma Tax Credits for Private School Tuition

Nearly $2 million meant for helping families afford private school tuition in Oklahoma was redirected to pay off parents’ debts and delinquent taxes, according to reports from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The commission revealed that out of 1,249 parental choice tax credit payments totaling $1,926,240 were deducted due to outstanding debts. Additionally, according to The Oklahoman, this diversion came from Oklahoma tax credits program with a total budget of $150 million this year. Governor Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 3388 into law to prevent similar deductions in the future. The new law specifies that the credits are considered non-taxable income and cannot be reduced for unpaid debts. This clarification was deemed necessary since the original legislation creating the Oklahoma tax credits program did not include such a prohibition. Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat emphasized the importance of ensuring that a parent’s financial situation doesn’t hinder a student’s access to private education. He stated that just as a child shouldn’t be denied access to public school due to a parent’s tax arrears the same principle should apply to private schooling.

However, some legislative Democrats raised concerns about the fairness of the measure suggesting it might disproportionately benefit families already enrolled in exclusive schools. Representative Andy Fugate expressed worry that taxpayer dollars were being given to families without requiring them to settle their debts to the state. The private school tax credit program offers refundable Oklahoma tax credits ranging from $5,000 to $7,500 depending on household income to help cover the costs of private school attendance. Although the credits reduce a family’s state tax obligation, the Tax Commission issues checks to reimburse approved educational expenses like tuition, tutoring, or testing fees.

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Nearly $2M Diverted from Oklahoma Tax Credits for Private School Tuition to Pay Parents’ Debts – Check Legislative Updates & Program Details! (PHOTO:

Oklahoma Tax Credits Program

Furthermore, the program which began in December saw significant demand with approximately 36,000 applications submitted within the first 90 minutes. While there is no income limit to apply priority consideration was given to children from households earning $150,000 or below. As of now the Tax Commission is still reviewing applications and disbursing funds. Around 16,800 priority applicants and 4,300 without priority have been approved utilizing $125 million of the allocated $150 million budget. Plans are in place to allocate $200 million for the program in 2025 and $250 million in 2026.

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