It is your money after all

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in the case of Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn.  The case hinges upon the issue of “standing”, which is a lawyer’s way of saying, do the people who have filed this law suit have the legal right to do so.  But, the answer to that question is not the reason for this post.

First, let me explain the facts. 

Arizona has a provision in its tax code that gives an individual taxpayer a tax credit of up to $500 per year for contributions he or she makes Student Tuition Organizations, or, STO’s.  The STO’s then use the contributions received to provide scholarships to students.  Many of the students receiving these scholarships use the money to attend religious schools. 

A group of Arizona taxpayers sued claiming that this tax credit was a violation of the Establishment Clause, i.e.,  a violation of the  “separation of church and state”.  (Yes, I know that those words appear nowhere in the Constitution, but, please stay with me.)  In other words, the taxpayers claimed that the net effect of this tax credit was that the State of Arizona was using public money to fund religious schools. 

In deciding that the folks that sued lacked “standing” Mr. Justice Kennedy, in a 5-4 decision stated (at page 20) that the position taken by the taxpayers who challenged the law,

assumes that income should be treated as if it were government property even if it has not come into the tax collector’s hands.

According to Mr. Justice Kennedy, money isn’t government property until it is lawfully collected by the government. 

Until then, it belongs to you.

13 replies
  1. Marilyn
    Marilyn says:

    There aint no seperation of Church&State.  (sorry for the aint Mom) she always hated that.  So Barbara is this the Oligaracy?   The choosen, rewriting law in defiance of the courts.  Propety rights, not so much.  All belongs to the choosen and shall be given  as they see fit. Not in my life time, not on my watch and that you can take to the bank.

  2. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Wow!  One has the the right to keep or dispose of ones money as one chooses?  What a concept!

  3. BEA
    BEA says:

    It is my money and Paul Ryan's common sense approach to the deficit? Just too much good news to take in all in one morning!!!

  4. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Yeah, it is your money, but the second you do something with it (legally, anyway) the government gets a cut, be it state, federal or local.


    Every time money changes hands, one criminal or another gets a cut.

  5. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    If you overpay your taxes, which most folks seem to do, is it then the government's money?

  6. brianh
    brianh says:

    This case makes my hair hurt and I really can't get my arms around it, but Dimsdale makes the point of the day: "Every time money changes hands, one criminal or another gets a cut."

  7. TomL
    TomL says:

    What about the fact that for every dollar CT sends to DC we get $.68 back. Whats that a 32% transaction fee. Lets eliminate the middleman.

  8. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Mr. Kennedy should have gone farther.  He should have stated that the government is the steward of the American taxpayer's money.  And as such, has the responsibility to be as prudent with these dollars as if they were their own. 

  9. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    In re-reading the SOS’s excellent post,?I pose a question:? If the taxpayer’s money becomes government money upon payment, can?the government then?tell the American taxpayer that they?have no say in how the money is used??
    Thus infringing on our right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.?

Comments are closed.