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Rep. Harman: Legislation to benefit Hoosier teachers

April 17, 2013
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04/18/13 Where would any of us be without those who educated us? From pre-school teachers to college professors, we all have at least one educator in our lives that made a lasting impact on us. They believed in us. They showed us patience. They taught us how to be better students and better people. They refused to give up on us. It is no mystery why each legislative session has such a strong focus on education and why so much of the state budget is devoted to our students and teachers.

This session, the Indiana General Assembly is working on Senate Bill (SB) 494 which includes several different state and local tax issues. I authored an amendment to the bill that adds an income tax refund check off box. This will allow Hoosiers to donate all or a portion of their refund to help fund public K-12 education if they choose to. This is in addition to the check off box for donations to the Indiana Nongame Fund.

If SB 494 is signed into law, the option will be available beginning in tax year 2014. This could potentially increase revenue to the state General Fund for public K-12 education by a significant amount. In tax year 2010, the Indiana Nongame Fund received about $380,000 from refunds on 25,600 returns, so I am excited about the potential amount of funding this amendment could bring in for Hoosier education. SB 494 passed out of the House on third reading this week with a 90-4 vote.

We count on our teachers to give the best education to our kids so that they can be prepared to meet the demands of tomorrow’s workforce. Our children are the future of Indiana, and our teachers are investing so much into each of their lives. House Bill (HB) 1334 is designed to reward those teachers for all that they are accomplishing for our state.

HB 1334 addresses various education matters. The House version of the bill included a $1,000 income tax deduction teachers can apply for to help cover the out-of-pocket expenses they generously give for the betterment of their classrooms and students. After Senate amendments were made, the bill includes a $250 income tax deduction teachers may claim to help cover those out-of-pocket expenses. HB 1334 passed out of the Senate on third reading this week with a 49-1 vote.

Great teachers instill great values, impart long lasting wisdom and take learning from just words on a page to a living, working concept of everyday life, and I am pleased to be a part of what the Indiana General Assembly is doing for Hoosier teachers.

As always, I am open to new ideas that you feel will help Hoosiers and ask that you bring my attention to any concerns you may have. Please contact me by email at h17@in.gov or by phone at 317-232-9678.   

Rep. Tim Harman (R-Bremen) represents all of Marshall County and a large portion of Fulton County. He serves as a member of the Courts & Criminal Code, Government & Regulatory Reform and Local Government committees.

 

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