Bill would give bigger tax rebates to teachers

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Variety News Staff

HAGÅTÑA — Sen. Robert Klitzkie has introduced a bill that would allow Guam public school teachers to claim tax rebates to enable them to recover up to $500 of personal expenditures on school supplies.

The proposed $500 tax rebate would be “over and above” the $250 reimbursement for the teachers’ qualified expenses allowed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Klitzkie, R-Yigo, noted that Guam public school teachers have been digging into their personal pockets to be able to purchase school supplies that the students need, which the cash-strapped government cannot provide. These items include books, scissors, pencils, paper, glue and erasers.

“Given Guam’s inadequate funding of the school system, it is almost a certainty that educators will continue to attempt to meet the needs of their students by spending their own money,” Klitzkie explained in his Bill 222, titled Education Appreciation Act 2003.

The senator said that the $250 tax deduction may be sufficient for teachers in some states, but not to many teachers in the Guam public school system.

Klitzkie noted that for many years, Guam businesses have been allowed to claim tax rebates through the issuance of GEDA qualifying certificates to encourage economic development.

Bill 222, he said, “extends the functional equivalent of the qualifying certificate (The Educator’s Qualifying Certificate or EQC) and tax rebate, on a much smaller scale, to teachers.”

The $500 rebate may be insufficient to make up for the economic hardship that teachers go through, but Klitzkie pointed out that “it is one way for this community to show its appreciation to its educators.”



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