Porter: House Republican supermajority again rejects middle class education tax cut

April 9, 2015 Gregory W. Porter

For immediate release:
April 9, 2015


INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Republicans today remained consistent in their steadfast opposition to doing anything to help middle class Hoosiers in the 2015 legislative session by rejecting a call for relief from the state’s textbook tax made by State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis).

The House supermajority turned down a proposal offered by Porter that would have provided a $100 per child tax credit to help parents defray the costs of textbooks and other education expenses. Porter offered the amendment to Senate Bill 441.

“In a session that has been marked by time spent on issues that do not address the most serious concerns of our state’s residents—like a balanced budget amendment to the state Constitution—the Republican supermajorities have been depressingly consistent in one area: completely rejecting doing anything to help our depressed middle class,” Porter said.

“On several occasions this session, I have attempted to provide some relief to an onerous tax that affects any family with children who go to school: the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars charged each year to pay for the textbooks our kids must have in order to get a quality education,” he continued. “Earlier this year, I asked them to get rid of the textbook tax entirely, but the House Republicans just said no.”

The proposal offered today would have impacted families with children attending public, charter, non-public and accredited non-public schools. In addition to textbooks, the credit would have helped defray expenses from the purchase of computer software and digital content. The credit would have been funded through unclaimed Hoosier Lottery dollars, as well as funds provided through a tax amnesty for large corporations also contained in SB 441.

“There would have been some justice in seeing relief from the textbook tax included in a bill that is aimed toward protecting our state’s largest corporations, but again, the House Republicans just said no,” Porter said. “Once again, the focal point of a state government under single-party control is helping the very rich.”

Rejection of the proposals impacting the textbook tax also means that only parents of children who are in private schools or are home-schooled receive some tax relief in the form of a $1,000 education tax deduction.

“At some point in time, the folks who control our state will have to realize that the middle class needs our help desperately,” Porter said. “So far, it seems like they just don’t care.”