ANN ARBOR — State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) called for the state Legislature to make its appreciation of teachers concrete this Teacher Appreciation Week, by passing a bill to give teachers a tax break when they use their own money to buy supplies for their students.

“Lansing is sending less and less support to our local schools. Our neglect shows in many ways, but one way is the regular calls from schools to parents, asking for the most basic supplies like paper. Many schools lack fundamentals such as good books, and educators step up every day to fill that void,” Irwin said. “When our teachers dig into their own pockets for Michigan’s kids, the least we could do would be to stop taxing them on those earnings.”

House Bill 4146 would provide a Michigan tax credit for educators who spend up to $1,000 on supplies for their students. The bill has been sitting in the House Tax Policy Committee since Jan. 30, 2013.

“All across our state, educators are buying supplies for their schools and classrooms, spending money from their personal budgets to improve the classroom experience,” Irwin continued. “Teachers receive a small federal tax credit for sacrificing in this way, but the state of Michigan still levies the full income tax on teachers’ wages even when they spend that money to fill the holes in our school budgets. That’s not right. We all say we appreciate teachers and the valuable work they do, and it’s time to make our deeds match our words.”