In previous income tax years, the federal internal revenue code allowed eligible educators to deduct up to $250 of any unreimbursed expenses that the educator paid or incurred for specified school supplies, materials, and equipment that the educator used in his or her classroom. The federal educator expense deduction expired in 2013 and is currently unavailable for the 2014 or future income tax years.
The bill creates a state educator expense deduction and allows eligible educators to deduct the same unreimbursed expenses that they were previously allowed to deduct at the federal level from federal taxable income for state income tax purposes. Eligible educators may deduct the following amounts:
- For the 2016 income tax year, up to $250;
- For the 2017 income tax year, up to $500; and
- For the 2018 income tax year and each income tax year thereafter, up to $750.
An eligible educator is defined as a person who is a kindergarten through 12th grade teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide employed in a school for at least 900 hours during a school year.