LEWISTOWN - Businesses have a choice with their taxes: pay them all to the government or give a portion to benefit private education options, Roseann Guerrini told members of the Rotary Club of Lewistown Tuesday.
Through Pennsylvania's Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, businesses can contribute to tuition scholarships for private schools and receive a tax credit, said Guerrini, who is a member of the EITC Scholarship Committee at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Lewistown.
Corporations and small businesses can direct the funds that would otherwise go to state business taxes toward local private education, Guerrini said.
Sentinel photo by MICAIAH WISE BILGER
Roseann Guerrini, representing Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School, speaks about the benefits of the educational improvement tax credit program at the Rotary Club of Lewistown on Tuesday.
"The scholarships help families that often can't afford tuition," she said.
EITC donations go directly to families for tuition assistance, Guerrini said.
The state sets aside a specific allocation for EITC every year, she said. The credits are given to businesses on a first-come, first-served basis, she said.
For a one-year commitment, businesses will receive a 75 percent tax credit based on what they decided to give, she said. For a two-year commitment, the tax credit percentage increases to 90, she said.
"It's really a great deal - you're going to pay either way," Guerrini said.
To apply, businesses may contact the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Center for Business Financing at 787-7120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses that pay any of the following taxes qualify for EITC: corporate net income tax, capital stock franchise tax, bank and trust company shares tax, title insurance companies shares tax, insurance premiums tax or mutual thrift institutions tax.
The application is an easy, one-page form, Guerrini said. After receiving an approval letter, businesses can make their contribution to a specific scholarship fund, such as the Neumann Scholarship Foundation, which benefits pupils at Sacred Heart, she said.
Other area private schools receive scholarships from similar foundations, she said.
Sue Parzanese, the school's director of finance and development, said someone recently asked her if EITC was simple to apply for.
"It's really that easy," Parzanese told Rotary members.