Teachers who use their own money to buy classroom supplies for their students could lose a tax break under the Republican tax legislation currently winding its way through Congress.
The current tax code allows educators who purchase books, pens and pencils for their classrooms to subtract what they’ve spent on teaching expenses ― up to $250 ― from their gross income.
The tax bill that Republicans pushed through the House of Representatives earlier this month would scrap the deduction entirely to offset the revenue loss from the massive tax cuts they’re proposing for corporations and wealthy individuals.
“It’s a slap in the face to teachers to take it away. For teachers, it’s like ‘Are you kidding me? You’re coming after our $250?’ ” said Lisa Ochs, president of American Federation of Teachers-Kansas.
The National Education Association, under the hashtag #outofmypocket, is asking teachers to share via social media pictures of the sticky notes, pens and scissors that they purchase for their students.
— Lynnea Hunter (@MsLHunter) November 13, 2017
— Laura Shimenga (@LauraShimenga) November 10, 2017
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the proposed Senate GOP tax legislation would give substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off.
Americans earning less than $30,000 would see their taxes go up under the Senate GOP tax bill by 2019, the CBO said, while most of those making under $75,000 would be negatively affected by 2027.
Republicans are aiming to have the full Senate vote on the tax plan as early as this Thursday. The House passed its own version of the tax-reform bill earlier this month, which differs from the upper chamber’s legislation.
The CBO also said the bill would add $1.4 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.