Column: Vouchers only for the faithful
ICYMI, St. Petersburg Times columnist Robyn Blumner took on Arizona's tax-credit vouchers in her Sunday column (and by extension, Florida's version of the program). Here's a snippet:
Florida's program differs from Arizona's in that the SFOs cannot tell scholarship beneficiaries they must attend a particular school, and scholarships may only go to low-income families. Still, the church-state problems remain. A significant percentage of the over $100 million in diverted tax money goes to fund tuition at religiously affiliated schools, forcing taxpayers to financially support religious indoctrination.
That's why this case has wide implications. Think about it. If directed tax credits can be used to bypass church-state restrictions in the religious school context, there is no effective limit. Using tax credits, states or localities could underwrite the building of churches, synagogues and mosques, or pay the salaries of religious leaders.