In a reversal, the Tennessee Department of Education is now saying the state’s new school voucher will not be taxable.
The statement comes after Commissioner Penny Schwinn told lawmakers the opposite earlier this week.
The Tennessee Department of Education says it will structure the funds distributed through the Education Savings Accounts as scholarships. That way the money — up to $7,300 per student — won’t be considered income under federal tax laws.
Schwinn’s comments caused confusion when she made them during a budget hearing earlier this week.
Schwinn said explicitly that state lawyers had determined vouchers would be taxable, even though legislators had been told when the program was being debated that they wouldn’t be.
At least one lawmaker has called for a pause on the implementation of the program due to the commissioner’s comments.
Gov. Bill Lee’s administration aims to start the the school voucher program by next fall, earlier than initially planned.