WASHINGTON - Teachers are taking to social media to protest the Republican tax plan.
The U.S. House and Senate tax plans eliminate a $250 tax break for teachers who spend their own money on supplies for their classrooms.
Officials with the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers are urging their members to post pictures of school supplies they bought for their classrooms under the hashtag #OutOfMyPocket.
A middle school teacher from East Tennessee tweeted a picture of paper, pencils and markers and said, “Just restocked the student supplies #OutOfMyPocket so kids can get their work done. (Doesn’t include the snack cart for the kids who didn’t get breakfast)"
“We need to make sure our schools have more resources and teachers are trying to make up for that gap,” Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-Washington) said.
Delbene said not only should the deduction not be eliminated, it should be increased because teachers are often spending far more than $250 on classroom materials.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida) said at last week’s Ways and Means Committee markup of the bill that the average teacher isn’t saving much with this deduction.
“Would you rather have that, or would you rather have a tax code that the typical family in this country could save a thousand dollars in their tax liability?” Curbelo said he asked his wife, who is an algebra teacher.
Republicans said the tax cuts in their bill will give teachers more money in their pocket than the deduction would.
“By the time they were able to deduct that from their average teacher salary, what that teacher really would be saving would be about $37.50,” U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) said of a teacher with an average salary.
The House and Senate bills both cut the school supply deduction, as well as many other popular itemized deductions taxpayers take advantage of.
Channel 9's Washington Bureau asked House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) about Republicans’ claim. She said, “It is a pity and a shame that they would not only do harm to America’s middle-income families, but to do so in a way that is untruthful.”
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass its tax plan on Thursday. The U.S. Senate is still debating the details of its bill.
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