July 1 brings enhancements to SGOs

As the final hours of the Indiana legislative session ended, Indiana proponents of School Choice saw some major enhancements to the School Choice options, for The Indiana Choice Scholarship (vouchers), Scholarship Tax Credit (SGOs), and Special Education Programs. Check back in future editions of The Fort Wayne Lutheran for more information on vouchers and special-ed specifics. 1. The minimum SGO scholarship is now officially $500.2. The statewide cap on available credits will be increased to $7.5 million ($15 million in donations) from the current $5 million ($10 million in donations).3. Starting July 1, any excess tax credits earned by your donation can now be carried over for up to nine years. (Previously, there was no carryover.)As a reminder, donations to the Lutheran SGO have two direct benefits:1. Donors can eliminate, reduce, or receive a refund of already-paid state taxes, up to 50 percent of the donation. For example, someone who owes (or has paid over the year) $1,000 in state taxes can donate $2,000 to an SGO and eliminate that tax. The gift also can receive the usual federal charitable-gift deductions.2. SGOs provide scholarships to students at area Lutheran schools.Not as direct, but perhaps more important: donating to the Lutheran SGO brings the satisfaction that you have provided a Christ-centered education for students in northeast Indiana who otherwise might not be able to afford it. The SGO also opens the door for present Lutheran school families to access a voucher as early as the 2013-2014 school year.Everyone is reminded that both individuals and corporations, in fact any entity with a state tax liability, can benefit from the SGO tax credit. The next time you write that quarterly estimated check, or look at your paycheck stub, consider how SGOs could help improve those numbers.