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Beach Bill Would Provide Gross Income Tax Deduction for the Purchase of Classroom Supplies by Educators

TRENTON – The Senate Education Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach that would provide a gross income tax deduction for certain educators and paraprofessionals for unreimbursed purchases of classroom supplies such as books, computer equipment, or other materials.

“According to the National Education Association, teachers spend on average $500 to $750 every year on necessary classroom supplies,” said Senator Beach (D-Camden/Burlington). “Those who reach into their own pockets to provide for students where districts do not deserve to be reimbursed in some capacity. Providing teachers and other educational professionals a gross income tax deduction will lesson that financial burden and show thanks for their generosity.”

The bill, S-2378, would define an “eligible educator” as individuals who are employed as a K-12 teacher, instructor, counselor, speech language specialist, or principal of a public or private school in New Jersey for at least 900 hours of the school year. The term “paraprofessional” is defined in the bill as individuals who are employed as a school or classroom aide who assists teaching staff members in the supervision of pupil activities by an in-state public or private school.

The amount of the gross income tax deduction would not exceed $250 in a taxable year, and would apply for the unreimbursed expenditure of classroom supplies such as books, computer equipment, computer software, and other materials not including athletic equipment.

The bill was advanced in a unanimous vote.