Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) gave sponsor testimony in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Senate Bill 120, which would increase the educator tax deduction for supplies from $250 to $1,000.
“For decades, educators have had to use their paycheck to purchase supplies for students with limited resources. Like many other issues, the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem,” Fedor said. “As the Covid-19 crisis continues, families are still struggling, increasing the burden on teachers picking up the bill for students who need it.”
S. B. 120 would expand the state tax deduction that was passed during the 133rd General Assembly from $250 to $1,000. This deduction would work in addition to the federal Educator Expense Deduction, which allows eligible educators to deduct up to $250 for an individual and $500 for eligible couples filing jointly. Qualified expenses would be limited to amounts paid or incurred for participation in professional development courses, books, supplies, computer equipment, other equipment and supplementary materials that teachers use in the classroom.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, educators across the state have stepped in to purchase supplies for students with limited resources, personal protective equipment and extra supplies to prevent sharing among students. On average, Ohio public school teachers spend $450 dollars of their own income on classroom supplies. The expansion of the state deduction will help offset the personal cost to educators who go the extra mile to assist students by purchasing supplies for the classroom.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has only increased the need for these qualifying expenses for safe and effective instruction,” Fedor said. “Frankly, a $250 tax credit has never been enough during a traditional year. It will certainly not be enough during a pandemic year.”
The deduction would be available to teachers, instructors, counselors, principals and aides with qualifying expenses.
View Senator Fedor’s full testimony here