Teachers could get tax break for teacher supplies under bill headed to House

By Erika Brock
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Educators could receive an unexpected tax credit next year to reimburse, at least partially, the personal money they used to purchase classroom supplies.

Members of the House Education Committee hearing amendments. Photo by Caitlin Soard, TheStatehouseFile.com

Members of the House Education Committee hearing amendments. Photo by Caitlin Soard, TheStatehouseFile.com

House Bill 1005, authored by Rep Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, passed the House Education Committee unanimously and is now headed to the full House for consideration. It could mean a tax cut of up to $200 per year for classroom supplies.

“I think this is a great start for where we want to go in helping teachers be paid on par with what teachers across the U.S. are getting paid,” Smaltz said. “Teachers have passion, they don’t do it for the money.”

Teachers do not currently receive funds to decorate their classrooms or purchase supplies for students. Smaltz said that on average, 54 percent of teachers spent at least $200 annually on school supplies and 22 percent spent at least $100.

“Giving teachers this moderate tax break would help them tremendously,” said Caryl Auslander, the vice president of education and workforce development policy for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Smaltz said that teachers are generally underpaid in Indiana by about 10 percent of the national average.

“It’s a small but very important step,” Department of Education Legislative Affairs Director John Barnes said.

Erika Brock is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

Correction: This story has been corrected from its original version. The story now says that the bill would offer a tax credit that could reduce a teacher’s liability by no more than $200. The original story incorrectly referred to a deduction. TheStatehouseFile.com regrets the error. See all our corrections at http://thestatehousefile.com/info/corrections/.
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