State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) continued their push to exempt Social Security and pension benefits from the state income tax. Both legislators provided testimony to the General Assembly’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee supporting the repeal.
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.
“Social Security was established to provide financial protection for retirees who work hard all their lives but who need assistance in their retirement years,” Rep. Perillo, a member of the Finance Committee, said in his testimony. “This is hardly a handout. Social Security beneficiaries contribute to the Social Security program throughout their careers – a time during which these folks were paying income taxes. To then tax these retirees after they have worked their entire lives is unfair and even harmful to them.”
“Many retirees are in an economic exile from Connecticut, unable to afford to remain here in the golden years,” said Rep. McGorty. “Other states are looking to join the 26 that do not tax Social Security and Connecticut needs to be among them. This is one meaningful and essential thing we can do to keep our seniors here, and preserve the economic power they represent to our state.”
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 legislators noted that Connecticut is one of six states that lost population over the past year, and that a failure to act will ensure that the exodus from Connecticut will increase.
This session of the Connecticut General Assembly convened on Feb. 3, and will conclude at midnight, Wednesday, May 4, 2015.