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Teachers Could Lose "Supply" Deduction

November 28, 2017 05:44 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s one part of a far-reaching tax reform plan.

But it’s earning low marks from teachers.

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"I can't think of a single person that I know that doesn't dip into their own pocket to meet the needs of their own students," said Deborah Cook, a teacher at Austin’s Sumner elementary school.

Now, some lawmakers have made it one of their targets as they work to simplify the tax code.

“To me, it was something that was somewhat respectful and acknowledges what personal investment educators put into their profession" Sumner principal Sheila Berger said.

House Republicans want to cut the deduction teachers receive for buying their own classroom supplies. Currently, teachers can claim 250 dollars for supplies they purchase.

"And that's a deduction” principal Sheila Berger said. “So it's not like I'm getting 250 dollars back, I'm just not getting taxed on that 250 dollars.”

And it generally means they get between 40 and 100 dollars back.

"That rebate we get on our taxes probably doesn't cover one tenth of what a typical teacher, especially in the elementary schools' purchases" Sheila Berger explained.

“I do think it will affect teachers, as far as the 250 dollars goes per adult especially families that have more than one educator,” Deborah Cook said. “For example my husband and I. So there's 500 dollars in tax deductions."

“To me, it's hard to not be deeply offended by that” Sumner principal Sheila Berger said. ”There's going to be such a great savings to our nation by taking away that measly 40 to a hundred dollars? I find it offensive."

Offensive enough that she’ll stop buying supplies for her students out-of-pocket?

“Absolutely not.”
"I don't think the driving force behind any educator is to enter the field for money” teacher Deborah Cook said. “It's to enter the field for children  so whether there's a tax deduction or not we're still going to meet the needs of our students."


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