Orthodox Union Hails Albany Rally on Tax Credits

February 15, 2006

The Orthodox Union, through its Institute for Public Affairs, hailed the unprecedented rally held today at the State Capitol in Albany supporting education tax credits.

OU President Stephen J. Savitsky declared, “Thousands of New Yorkers, from all parts of the state, from both the public and private school communities, joined together today to ask our elected representatives for a simple and easy solution that gets real help to real New Yorkers.”

Mr. Savitsky continued, “I am proud of the role the OU played in mobilizing our community — along with our partners throughout the Jewish community, such as Yeshiva University and the Sephardic Community Federation — to join this rally and in our continued efforts to see that these proposals become law.”

Two proposals regarding education tax credits are pending in the Legislature in Albany. The first was introduced by Governor George Pataki in his most recent Executive Budget; the second is a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Martin Golden (R-C Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn). Tax credits for educational purposes have already been enacted in six other states and several others will consider them this year.

Nathan J. Diament, the OU’s Director of Public Policy said, “We are pleased with the wide, bi-partisan support for measures that help all schoolchildren and parents. Tax credits where already enacted have proven to be a new source of education funds and are an excellent way to see that all students get the help they deserve and need.”

Under both proposals now in Albany, parents would receive a dollar for dollar credit on their state tax bill for qualified educational expenses; these include tutoring, educational software, summer school, enrichment, and tuition at accredited schools, as well as special education expenses such as testing or therapy.

Elliot Gibber, an OU Senior Vice President and Chairman of the OU’s new Tuition Initiative (as well as President of TEACH NYS, a statewide advocacy group supporting education tax credits) declared, “Government gives tax credits for energy efficient appliances, for hybrid vehicles, for college savings and for research and development. Isn’t it time that it gave a credit for educating the children who need it most?”