S.4063, Lanza / A.4296, Colton: In relation to teacher tax deduction for school supplies

Published on March 3rd, 2017

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced bill provides a personal income tax deduction up to $500 a year for school supplies paid for out of-pocket by elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other personnel in public and non-public schools.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation.

While the quality of our educational system depends largely on the quality of teachers, even a dedicated, highly qualified teacher will have difficulty if their classroom is not equipped with basic materials and supplies. Yet we realize that teachers typically spend hundreds of dollars of their own money to purchase basic and necessary educational supplies and materials for the students in their classrooms.

Parents shouldn’t have to depend on the good will or generosity of their child’s teacher to be assured that their child’s classroom has adequate supplies and materials. Can you imagine what would happen to the quality of our health care system if we depended on medical professionals paying out-of-pocket for medical supplies?

While there is a federal tax deduction designed to help teachers offset classroom expenses, it is simply insufficient to provide any meaningful financial relief to teachers. This measure would provide additional relief to teachers by providing a state income tax deduction of up to $500 annually – thereby helping to assure that children have the basic classroom supplies and materials they need to learn.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation and urges its enactment.

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