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Tax plan can impact public school teachers

Courtesy Photo.

Teachers around the country can write off $250 in expenses for supplies they buy for their classrooms. That could change with the tax plans under consideration by Congress.

The House already passed a plan that would eliminate the teacher tax break.

The Senate plan, which is expected to pass Friday night, would double the tax break for teachers to $500.

Teachers tell KFOX14 that's money they need to help their students.

"We're doing it for the passion and for the love of our students, so having to spend more money, it was just like using a coupon with the $250," Socorro High School teacher Noemi Valencia said.

Valencia said she hopes the tax break either stays the way it is or increases.

"A lot of times we are able to use it as a good write-off," she said.

Since the House and Senate plans are different, the tax break could go in any direction during reconciliation, according to accountant Tyler Smith.

"At this point, it could go up. It could go down. It could go away. It could stay right where it is and they meet halfway," Smith said.

Smith said the Senate's plan would be most advantageous to teachers.

"They'll get an extra $40 to $100 in their pocket and it doesn't sound like much, but it's an extra tank of gas or movie tickets for the family," he said.

A 2013 study from the National School Supply and Equipment Association found that teachers spent nearly $500 out of pocket during the school year.

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