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North Dakota Senate kills bill to give tax credit to private school parents

The bill, sponsored by Lisbon Republican Rep. Sebastian Ertelt, would have allowed parents or guardians to claim a $500 income tax credit for each year a dependent was enrolled in private school. The Senate had previously removed language from the bill that would've also permitted parents of home-schooled children to claim the credit.

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The chamber of the North Dakota Senate is pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate overwhelmingly voted down a bill on Monday, March 22, that would give a tax credit to parents of kids in private school .

The upper chamber killed House Bill 1281 by a 32-15 vote several weeks after the House narrowly passed it.

The bill, sponsored by Lisbon Republican Rep. Sebastian Ertelt, would have allowed parents or guardians to claim a $500 income tax credit for each year a dependent was enrolled in private school. The Senate previously removed language from the bill that also permitted parents of home-schooled children to claim the credit.

A fiscal note attached to the bill indicated it would cost the state about $6.6 million in revenue per two-year budget cycle. Sen. Dale Patten, R-Watford City, said the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee gave the bill a "do not pass" recommendation because it was too steep a price to pay.

Supporters of the bill argued parents of private-schooled children pay heavy taxes into a public school system from which they are not benefitting. Ertelt previously noted that parents shouldn't be punished for choosing to send their kids to private school.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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