The School Readiness Tax Credit program provides an opportunity for tax liability payments to be paid back in full. The program was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2007, with the intent of promoting the quality of child care in Louisiana.
The program allows families, childcare providers and businesses that support healthcare to invest their money locally, as opposed to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
The Children's Coalition is one entity that uses the SRTC program for the benefit of children in Northeast Louisiana. Development Director Lindsey Murry says it assures business donors that their money is being "reinvested" locally when paying their tax liabilities at the end of the tax year.
"Instead of writing a $10,000 check to the Department of Revenue and sending it to Baton Rouge, you could write a check to the Children's Coalition for $5,000 and reduce your liability to the department of revenue by $5,000," says Murry.
Murry also says if you don't have a tax ability, "you could write a $5,000 check and when you file your taxes in April, you get 100 percent of that back."
She says this is a "dollar for dollar refundable tax credit."
The Children's Coalition of Northeast Louisiana began implementing the tax credit program in 2010, which has had an enormous impact on the Northeast region.
"Because of donations [people choosing to invest their money] to the Children's Coalition, we have been able to extend services such as supporting family child care homes and a project at the children's museum," says Lynn Clark, executive director of the Children's Coalition of Northeast Louisiana.