The continuing weakness in the economy has been especially hard on seniors living on fixed incomes. In response, State Representative John Shaban (R- Easton, Redding, and Weston) proposed a bill earlier this month to exempt social security benefits from the state income tax.
“Our seniors have paid state and federal taxes for their entire lives, and were promised that the social security portion of their money would be returned as retirement benefits,” Shaban said, “reducing these benefits through taxation would be a second bite at the apple.”
Shaban commented that people living on fixed incomes have been forced to keep up with our state’s repeated increases in income and sales taxes, local property taxes and the general cost of living in Connecticut. “I think its time we provide some modicum of relief to our seniors and let them keep what they earned decades ago.”
With some disdain, Shaban noted that Connecticut has again been ranked among the worst states in which to retire. While 36 states do not tax social security retirement benefits at all, Connecticut only exempts benefits received by those with a federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of under $50,000 (under $60,000 for married filing jointly). Additionally, Connecticut is one of just five states that do not allow exemptions or credits against senior’s AGI for pension or other retirement income, one exception is that veterans’ pensions have a 50% exemption.
Since taking office Shaban has said we must rein in the taxing and spending of our government for the sake of all citizens. “Still, out of fundamental fairness, I think we should start with reducing the tax burden on seniors.” Shaban added that “my goal is to make senior tax relief a reality this session; if necessary I will continue to press the issue in future sessions until it’s done.”
The legislative session ends on May 9th.