U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says the average teacher in New York State spends $485 dollars a year out of their own pocket for classroom supplies.
But only about half of all teachers are taking advantage of the "Teacher Expense Deduction," which became a permanent part of the tax code in 2015.
"Right now, the government offers a $250 dollar above-the-line-deduction for teachers and other school professionals who take out of pocket expenses. Of course they have to show proof of it. There's been very little fraud in the program. And it gives teaches a little bit of a break," Schumer told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. "In New York State, the average teacher spends $485 of their own money on classroom supplies. That's not right."
Schumer says the $250 dollar deduction was made a permanent part of the tax code through the passage of the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes, or PATH Act, in 2015, a bill he promoted.
But only half of the teachers are taking advantage of this deduction.
Schumer said the deduction would enable the 215 thousand upstate teachers to deduct over $53 million dollars.
And the 33 thousand public and charter school teachers in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region could deduct over $8 million dollars.
Click here for more information from Schumer’s website on the permanent tax deduction.