State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) are once again proposing legislation this session that would exempt social security and pension benefits from the state income tax. Those state residents that earn social security benefits and make over $50,000 per year if single, and $60,000 if married, are currently taxed for 25% of their total receipts.
“It’s this simple; the policies of this governor and Democratic leaders in the legislature have simply made this state too expensive for people to live here, or remain here after they retire,” said Rep. Perillo. “Certainly one of the many things that make seniors and retirees on fixed incomes unable to afford to remain here is our personal income tax on Social Security receipts. This is an important first step toward reversing the state’s punitive taxation of our seniors.”
“It is no secret that Connecticut is one of the least-favored states to retire in, and the state income tax on Social Security and pension retirement benefits is one of the reasons,” said Rep. McGorty. “People who have spent their whole lives working here and raising families here can no longer afford to retire here, and that’s wrong. It’s time to start reversing this trend by reversing the policies that have gotten us here, and this is one essential way to start.”
Perillo and McGorty pointed out a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau that estimated nearly 28,000 people moved out of the state of Connecticut between July 2014 and July 2015. This represents a sudden and sharp exodus compared to the previous year, where the state lost a little over 3,500 residents. The Shelton legislators noted that a Gallup Poll from last year concluded that 49% of state residents want to leave the state and that Connecticut’s high taxes were cited as the primary reason. They said U. S. Census estimates show people are voting with their feet, with Connecticut ranking as one of only six states that has lost population over the past two fiscal years.
It is estimated that the state takes in roughly $21 million per year from taxing Social Security benefits, and Perillo and McGorty said the revenue could easily be made up though the elimination of redundant and inefficient government services, and a reduction in middle management in state government.
The bill request from the legislators has been referred to the Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding and awaits action there.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly convened on Feb. 3, and will conclude at midnight, Wednesday, May 4.