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Oklahoma teacher tax credit bid gets support

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: February 10, 2009
A House panel passed a measure Monday that would allow public school teachers a tax credit up to $500 a year for purchasing classroom materials.

The bill would allow for a tax credit for the cost of materials, equipment or supplies if the cost was "not refunded or reimbursed from any other source.”

House Bill 1036, authored by Rep. John Trebilcock, won unanimous approval by the revenue and taxation subcommittee of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. It now goes to the budget committee.

Cost to state: $21M
This is the third year that Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow, has proposed the idea. It’s expected all teachers would take advantage of the tax credit, he said, which would result in a loss of about $21 million in state revenue.

"This year, obviously, the fiscal impact’s going to be an obstacle,” said Trebilcock, referring to a budget shortfall the state is facing. "From my point of view as a former teacher, it’s a way to give a tax-free pay raise to teachers.

Instead of having to pay income tax, it’s going to be 500 real, actual dollars.”

Trebilcock said teachers can deduct as much as $250 in out-of-pocket expenses from their federal taxes.



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