Whitmer proposes suspended tax on school supplies

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 12:31 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer proposed a suspension for the sales tax on school supplies before semesters start across the state.

As part of the Michigan Back to School Plan, sales taxes on school supplies are proposed to be suspended for the upcoming back to school sales for 2022-23 school year. The plan proposed by Governor Whitmer is intended to help families get ready for the new school year by lowering the costs of supplies and build on the education budget that was signed in July, 2022.

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“As families gear up for the school year, they should be able to get what they need without spending too much money out of pocket,” said Whitmer. “That’s why I’m putting forward the MI Back to School Plan, which includes a proposal to temporarily suspend the sales tax on school supplies. Getting this done would lower costs for parents, teachers, and students right now, and ensure that they have the resources to succeed.”

A Deloitte report found that families spend up to $661 on a child going back to school. The price has increased from $612 per child in 2021. The proposed plan is intended to decrease the average cost families have to spend for their child’s school year.

However, not all politicians in Michigan agree that the Governor’s proposed tax cut would have the intended affect. Representative Matt Hall, from Comstock Township, said he believes it’s too close to the start of the school year for the cuts to work.

“Many people throughout Michigan have already done back to school shopping and school starts in just a few days for many families,” Hall said. “Some kids have already started back. How would this plan help families three or four weeks from now?”

Whitmer’s education budget focuses on six sections; Students, mental health, learning supports, student safety, school infrastructure and teacher recruitment.

On Tuesday, Whitmer announced the proposed plans for each segment.


“For our students, the highest state per-pupil funding in Michigan history—$9,150 for every kid, in every public school district. Additional support for the nearly 200,000 special education students and 710,000 at-risk students in Michigan. Expanding funding for career and technical education programs by 27%.”

Mental Health

“Dedicated mental health dollars for every student in every school. Increasing funding for teen centers, district mental health grants, and TRAILS, which offers training to school mental health professionals so they can better serve students with evidence-based services.”

Teacher Recruitment

“Funding MI Future Educator Fellowships, which pay up to $10,000 in tuition for 2,500 future Michigan educators a year, $9,600 stipends a semester for student teachers, and Grow-Your-Own programs that help districts put support staff on no-cost paths to become educators.”

School Infrastructure

“$250 million for school construction and renovations, helping them build or refurbish classrooms, labs, and libraries.”

Learning Supports

“An expansion of before and after-school programs to keep kids engaged. The budget offers every kid in Michigan tutoring to help catch up and get on track for long-term success, and resources for districts to develop learning pods for academically at-risk and economically disadvantaged students.”

Student Safety

“Dedicated school safety dollars for every student in every school. Funds to hire more on-campus school resources officers, create an intervention system for at-risk students that brings together law enforcement, schools, and mental health professionals, and establish a school safety commission.”


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