A little-noticed provision in the sweeping tax credit overhaul slated for debate today in the Missouri Senate would eliminate a state subsidy for international adoptions.We use taxes for more than just revenue -- we seek to encourage or discourage certain behaviors with tax credits or high taxes. Cigarette taxes are designed to discourage smoking by pricing people out of the market. Tax credits for electric cars or solar panels.
The goal, say those pushing the change, is to shift foreign adoption tax credits — up to $2 million a year — toward abused and neglected children in Missouri.
Specifically, the money would increase the pool of tax credits available for parents who adopt children in the state's foster care system and donors who give to certain social services agencies geared to children.
Adoption tax credits are obviously designed to encourage adoption. Should states limit their tax credits to children adopted from foster care? Arguably a state receives no financial benefit when its residents adopt internationally. The only way they gain is if foster children no longer need state support because they are now receiving support from their adoptive families.
What do you think? Is Missouri on the right track? Or off the rails?