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Expanded tax credit sought

Legislative leaders from both the Senate and the House said Tuesday they want to expand a $50-million tax credit program for businesses that fund scholarships to private schools.

The proposal by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, would raise the cap on the program from $50-million to $75-million.

A 2001 law gives businesses a dollar-for-dollar credit on their corporate income tax for donations to nonprofit scholarship funds for poor children. More than 15,000 children are attending private schools this year on the $3,500 scholarships.

Lee, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, said the Senate has "moved cautiously in this area of school choice" but thinks that the corporate income tax credit program is working. Rep. Bev Kilmer, who chairs the House Education K-20 Committee, called the expansion a "win-win for everybody."

_ Staff, wire reports.

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