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September 12, 2002

Education Tax Deduction Update

The United States House of Representatives was scheduled to consider H.R. 5193, the Back to School Tax Relief Act of 2002, on Thursday, September 12, 2002. After the House passed the measure that allows for the bill to come to the House floor by a vote of 208 201, the final debate and vote on the actual bill was postponed. It is our understanding that the postponement is the result of efforts to have a vote on returning the bill to the Ways and Means Committee for the insertion of funds for school construction. Since school construction funding is extremely controversial at the federal level, and even more so in an election year, the bill was not brought up for consideration until this issue could be resolved. HSLDA will keep you informed as this matter progresses. Thanks to all who made the efforts to call their Congressman in support of the bill.

Background: On September 5, 2002, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means passed by a vote of 22 14 the Back to School Tax Relief Act of 2002 (H.R. 5193). This bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, would allow families of K 12 students, whose joint adjusted gross income is less than $40,000 ($20,000 for singles), to claim up to a $3000 deduction for education expenses, including home education. This deduction would apply whether a family itemizes their deductions or not. While we would prefer that there be no income limitations on eligibility for general tax relief, congressional budget rules prevent that approach this year. HSLDA worked with Congressman Schaffer as he crafted this legislation.