These tax credits benefit corporations and the wealthy while shifting the burden of funding critical programs and services — like public health and safety and affordable housing — to less affluent taxpayers. Its dollar-for-dollar tax credit to individuals and businesses creates a significantly more lucrative incentive than the state offers for any other type of charitable giving, including churches, food banks and cancer research. The first-year limit on the total amount of vouchers is $25 million, and the cost to Nebraska’s general fund will likely grow exponentially, as it has in other states, to nearly $250 million a year in just 10 years.
In Nebraska, 9 in 10 students attend our public schools. Voucher tax schemes like LB 753 funnel money away from our already-underfunded public schools and children and redistribute tax dollars to private schools, including those that discriminate against children and their families. Research shows that school vouchers do not improve students' academic performance and they fail to support disabled and special-needs students.
Private schools that receive funding under LB 753 would not be held to the same accountability and reporting requirements as public schools, as only minimal academic standards are required for schools to be eligible. This lack of oversight and accountability will leave students, their families, and the state in a precarious position with no ability to gauge whether the funds are being used effectively or appropriately.