Indiana House Democrats will continue trying to deliver middle class tax relief through education tax break

February 16, 2015 Gregory W. Porter

For immediate release:
Feb. 16, 2015


STATEHOUSE – Faced with a golden opportunity to provide relief for a suffering Hoosier middle class, Indiana House Republicans rejected an effort by State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis) that would have given additional tax relief for families to help them meet education expenses.

Porter asked lawmakers today to extend an education expense tax deduction to parents of children who attend public schools. The amendment to House Bill 1005 was defeated by the House Republican supermajority.

“Today offered us the first chance to discuss the kind of legislation that needs to be debated in this year’s legislative session,” Porter said. “The focus needs to be on our middle class and those families that have seen their average incomes steadily decline over the past decade. We need to be doing something to help them, not considering added tax breaks for the very rich or elimination of a common construction wage that provides middle class jobs and pays them living wages.

“Yet today we also have seen that those who control our state government are not interested in helping families address their daily needs, particularly when it comes to helping them attain a quality education,” he added.

Porter’s proposal to extend the education expense tax deduction to parents of students in Indiana’s public schools would have given those parents parity with a break currently given to parents of students who are in private schools or are home schooled. The $1,000 per child deduction can be used for tuition, fees, computer software, textbooks, and school supplies.

“At a time when school fees remain a constant, yearly thorn in the side of families, all we are asking is that the parents of students of public schools get the same break that we have given to students in private schools or are home schooled,” Porter said. “Once again, we are talking about tax relief for the people who need it the most, yet those who control the Indiana House are unwilling to give them any help to make it easier to meet the daily expenses they are required to pay.

“While some may think these actions set a depressing precedent for the way the rest of this session will go for the middle class, rest assured that I will continue trying to do what’s right for the vast majority of people across this state,” he concluded.