One approved organization is the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools (FJDS), created by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, in partnership with the area’s Jewish day schools, to encourage community members to take advantage of this opportunity to support Jewish education.
Mark your calendars: July 1 will be Pennsylvania taxpayers’ only opportunity in fiscal year 2016-17 to support Jewish pre-schools and day schools while saving on state taxes through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs.
These programs provide significant tax credits for contributions to scholarship organizations approved by the commonwealth. One approved organization is the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools (FJDS), created by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, in partnership with the area’s Jewish day schools, to encourage community members to take advantage of this opportunity to support Jewish education.
Elliot Holtz, chair of the Foundation, further explained the July 1 date: Applications (by a business, or an individual in a special-purpose entity) submitted on or before June 30 would be treated as falling in fiscal year 2015-16 and disregarded; but the EITC and OSTC programs have become so popular that they generally “sell out” on the day applications open. Even if you need to speak to your CPA, “get your application in,” said Holtz. “You will have time to work through the details with your advisor. By submitting an application, you’re indicating interest in participating. Applicants go into a pool. Those chosen from the pool are given 60 days to make their payment. If a chosen applicant doesn’t make his or her donation, the state will simply choose another applicant from the pool, and this is how many applicants get to participate.”
Holtz emphasized the vital boost the EITC and OSTC programs have given to Jewish education: “We have so few of our children in day schools, just 4 percent. The EITC and OSTC programs have been incredibly important in attracting more students to the day schools and keeping them there. And any contribution, no matter how small, helps.” The FJDS and the Orthodox public policy organization OU Advocacy, Holtz added, have been working with legislators to increase funding for the EITC and OSTC programs. “The more applicants there are, the more likely it is that this effort will succeed.”
For more information on supporting Jewish pre-schools and day schools through the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools and the EITC and OSTC programs, please contact Ellen Horowitz Matz at 215-832-0525 or email@example.com or visit jewishphilly.org/eitc.