Senate committee considering teacher tax credit bill

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Indiana teachers would get a $200 tax credit to help pay for classroom supplies under legislation considered Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee.

“Teachers spend much more than $200 a year on supplies in their classrooms and giving teachers this moderate tax break will help them tremendously,” said Caryl Auslander, vice president of education and workforce development policy for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, many teachers receive no funds to decorate their classrooms or purchase supplies. To buy these, teachers must pay out of pocket or ask for donations.

“This bill isn’t about anything except teachers and students,” said Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, the House author of the bill. “This tax credit will find its way to every door of every classroom of every school in Indiana.”

John Barnes, a lobbyist for the Department of Education, said that he spent countless dollars on tissues and hand sanitizers for his classroom when he was a teacher. Barnes supports the bill because it is “an awesome gesture and a recognition of the fact that they (are) willing make this sacrifice.”

House Bill 1005 – which already passed the House – was introduced in the Senate Education and Career Development Committee on Wednesday. The bill will be considered for amendments and a vote as soon as next week.

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