Panel Ponders Classroom Purchase Tax Exemptions
MIRS, January 21, 2004
For more articles like this
Today, the House
Tax Policy Committee took testimony on a pair of bills (HB 4261
and HB 4525) that would create tax breaks for teachers and
school administrators who spend their own money to purchase
supplies for their classroom.
The idea has appeared in the form of legislation during previous
sessions but has never been enacted. The impression emerging
from today's hearing was that the legislation is a work in
HB 4261, sponsored by Rep. Paul CONDINO (D-Southfield), gives
teachers a tax credit of up to $350 for books, video tapes,
computer programs, art supplies and other classroom material
HB 4525, sponsored by Rep. Matthew MILOSCH (R-Lambertville),
would provide teachers, full-time administrators, and other
full-time personnel employed by a public school or charter
school with a refundable credit equal to the costs paid during
the tax year for classroom supplies used for educational
purposes and directly related to classroom coursework.
The term "classroom supplies" would apply to books, computer
programs, art supplies, classroom decorations, supplies and
equipment for experiments, prizes, and similar materials.
"Every day, public school teachers are making purchases for
their classrooms," Milosch told the committee today. "I think
it's just unfortunate that, due to the deficit, we can't give
them a credit on every single dollar they spend."
Rep. Jack MINORE (D-Flint) questioned the timing of the
"I'm a former teacher," Minore said. "Most of the classes I
taught were for children, which was actually good preparation
for this job. I certainly sympathize with what this legislation
is supposed to do. However, my one concern is that when we
provide $1 million in credits here, we end up having to cut $1
million some place else. So my concern is with the effective
date of this."
Condino responded that he and Milosch had considered that when
drafting the bills and a possible effective date would be 2005.
Paul LONG of the Michigan Catholic Conference testified in
opposition to the bills on the basis that the exemptions would
apply only to public school teachers.
"We believe this ought to be for any certified teacher," Long
Rep. Paula ZELENKO (D-Burton) asked if an exemption that
includes parochial teachers might be subject to
Milosch said that the constitutional question, which applies to
the state constitution not the U.S. constitution, was a primary
reason the legislation had been drafted for public school
teachers and administrators only. However, he said, he would be
willing to look into the issue.
back to the top ~
back to Breaking News
~ back to