Senator proposes tax deductions for teachers buying school supplies

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Rio Rancho Sen. Craig Brandt is proposing up to $500 in deductions this year for teachers who buy their own classroom supplies. Those deductions would then jump up to $1,000 next year.

There are some limitations to Senate Bill 28, though. It would only allow teachers to deduct expenses for traditional supplies like notebooks, crayons, pencils, maps, rulers and so on. Electronic devices, sporting equipment and general office equipment would not qualify – but Branxdt believes that’s not really what teachers need help with.

“It’s your paper, it’s your pens, it’s your crayons, your coloring books, those types of things, the scissors that the teachers always have to buy, because the parents buy the wrong ones, they bought the pointy ones instead of the round ones,” Brandt said. “I’ve done that as a parent, so I know about that. So it’s, you know, those types of things that teachers always have to buy.”

Brandt says the proposal is expected to cost the state around $600,000.

“It’s very simple,” Brandt said. “It doesn’t cost a whole lot for the state. But it really just says to our teachers how much we appreciate them, we appreciate what they do. And we don’t feel like they should have to pay tax on money they’re spending to educate their children, our children.”

The legislation was expected to make its first committee appearance Thursday afternoon, but the meeting was canceled. Brandt expects the bill to see some action Tuesday.

Track SB 28 during the legislative session.