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Arizona Senate President Considers Cap On Tuition Scholarship

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 - 10:56am

The architect of a plan to use state tax revenues to help send students to private schools is now willing to consider a cap on the program.

Arizona Senate president Steve Yarbrough was the sponsor of a major expansion of the law. But it did not place limits on the amount of corporation tax that could go to provide scholarships for private and parochial schools. 

Instead, it contains an escalator clause that allows for a 20 percent increase annually.

The plan cost the state $74 million this year. That figure rises to $89 million in 2018 and then well over $100 million by 2019. 

Yarbrough, who demanded the clause, indicated he may reconsider.

"You don't have to be a mathematician to have determined that a 20 percent escalator that is compounding, at some point in time is actually going to exceed the totality of the corporate income tax that corporations in Arizona owe," Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough’s change of heart comes as he announced he will no longer be the executive director and general counsel of the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO).

Filings made through the IRS show Yarbrough and his wife each benefited from the state credits through the ACSTO.