The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a Montana Supreme Court ruling that said religious schools cannot participate in a program that used tax credits to reimburse scholarship donations.
The Institute for Justice, a conservative law firm representing Montana parents, argues that excluding religious schools from the program violates the U.S. Constitution.
The 2015 Montana Legislature approved the tax credit program allowing up to a $150 tax credit for donations to scholarships for students who want to attend a private school. The Montana Department of Revenue implemented rules preventing schools with religious ties from qualifying for those scholarships, determining that would violate the Montana Constitution.
A group of parents of Montana religious school students sued the Department of Revenue, and a Montana district court judge sided with the parents, saying the tax credit was constitutional. The Montana Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, reversed the district court saying the tax credit program violated the Montana Constitution’s strict prohibition on aid to sectarian schools.
BETTR Section transactional practice mentor program
New to transactional practice? Don’t know where to find answers?
Providing limited-scope input within the mentor’s discretion, a mentor from the Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property Section may be able to help. To learn more, or to find a mentor, email Kathleen Magone, chair of Education and Outreach Committee of the BETTR section, at firstname.lastname@example.org.