Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Donors to Grace Scholars double in 2015

By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published January 22, 2015

ATLANTA—Grace Scholars doubled its support as more than 2,000 people and businesses applied for the Georgia education tax credit on its behalf.

Staff members at the Chancery on Jan. 1 entered 2,116 application forms into the Georgia Tax Center website.

Due to high demand, the private school tax credit limit for 2015 was reached in Georgia on New Year’s Day.

grace scholarsDavid Brown, executive director, said Grace Scholars applied for more than $5 million in tax credits. He expects the amount approved to be less since the applications statewide on behalf of all student scholarship organizations exceeded the $58 million available. He expects to know by February how much Grace Scholars will receive.

The program allows donors to student scholarship organizations to redirect their state taxes to aid students and schools. Married couples can receive a tax credit of up to $2,500, while corporate donors can claim up to 75 percent of their state income tax liability. Individuals can receive a tax credit up to $1,000.

The student scholarship organizations in turn award the funds to families as school scholarships. Guidelines direct aid to students newly entering private schools.

One state lawmaker prefiled legislation to increase the tax credit limit to $250 million. The bill is HB 35, sponsored by Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs.

The Georgia Catholic Conference is supporting increasing the tax credit limit for this program. The conference represents the Savannah Diocese and the Atlanta Archdiocese at the Georgia Statehouse.

Frank Mulcahy, the conference executive director, said he’d like to see an “an amount that will satisfy all the taxpayers who want to make contributions.”

“I do not know exactly what that number might be, but the fact that the current $58 million was claimed in one day indicates that there is a citizen demand that has not been reached,” he said in an email.

Georgia lawmakers began the 2015 legislative session on Jan 12.