Pence and Cruz responsible for home/religious school tax breaks

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Parents who home-school or send their children to private or religious schools would get new federal tax breaks if the final Republican tax overhaul bill becomes law.

During Friday’s joint House-Senate conference, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) brought up the original amendment to extend 529 college savings plans to grade school and high school, including costs for homeschooling. According to a report in the Washington Examiner, Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote in favor of the measure after Republicans Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine opposed it.

The amendment would allow $10,000 per child to be distributed from tax-privileged 529 savings plans each year. According to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, the measure would represent a tax cut of about $500 billion over 10 years.

Passage of the bill would indicate a significant advancement for school choice at the federal level.

The House version of the legislation contained a similar measure, according to the report, which noted that it also included a provision that would have permitted parents to open 529 accounts for unborn children. That language, which pro-abortion rights supporters had decried as an attempt to restrict abortion through the tax code, didn’t make it into the final bill, according to the report.

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