State Rep. Jason Wentworth of Clare today said he supports income tax deductions at both the federal and state levels to help teachers who buy their own classroom supplies.
Wentworth said he favors a U.S. Senate provision that would increase the educator expense taxable income deduction from the current $250 to $500. Wentworth opposes a U.S. House provision that would eliminate the educator expense deduction at the federal level. The issue is being debated as Congress considers possible federal tax changes.
Wentworth also said he supports a bill pending in the Michigan Legislature that would make public school teachers who buy their own classroom supplies eligible for a state income tax credit.
“We spend taxpayer money to fund the public school system and educate our children,” Wentworth. “When an educator spends their own income on items for the classroom, that money should be exempt from taxation. It’s only fair.”
House Bill 5136 would provide a state income tax credit of up to $1,000 for a single filer and $2,000 on a joint return for those with adjusted gross incomes equal to or below the average salary for a Michigan teacher, which currently is $61,875.
National and Michigan-based surveys indicate the average teacher spends hundreds of dollars of their own money on classroom supplies each year, and the costs are rising.