• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM
By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania’s house speaker was in South Philadelphia Wednesday to promote his proposal to increase a business tax credit program that allows for contributions to tuition scholarships for private and Catholic schools.

Speaker Mike Turzai toured St. Thomas Aquinas School on Morris Street before unveiling his plan to boost the limits for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit programs.

Businesses who take part are eligible for corporate tax deduction for contributions to programs funding tuition scholarships for parents who want to send their child to a Catholic or private school.

Turzai says the business community is a big booster of the school-choice measure.

“There are always more people who want to participate, businesses I should say, businesses that want to participate in the EITC and OSTC than what tax credits are available,” he said. “There’s more businesses that would like to use it or would like to use more. We’ve never been undersubscribed.”

Turzai says the program – inaugurated years ago during the administration of then-Governor Tom Ridge – has widespread backing in the Legislature, as well.

“It always has significant support on both sides of the aisle,” he said, “and on both sides of the capitol – House and Senate.”

He says the increases will be folded into the school budget lawmakers will consider when they tackle the next state budget in the spring.

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