Put a limit on state pension exemptions

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed budget legislation includes a 50 percent income tax exemption on teachers' pensions. This is welcomed in a state known for having one of the highest overall tax burdens in the nation. The governor's proposal is modeled on the 50 percent tax exemption enjoyed by Connecticut's retired uniformed military retirees.

I support both of these exemptions, for retired teachers because of their tireless efforts educating our children, and for our military willing to go in harm's way for us. What I do not support is that the military and teacher exemptions have no limit, no cap, no "circuit breaker" on the pension amount to which the 50 percent exemption applies. In other words, senior officer military and senior school/college administrators with six-figure pensions stand to benefit handsomely from this 50 percent discount on their income tax.

Current Connecticut income tax code applies an exemption on Social Security income for gross incomes up to the $50,000-$60,000 range, with a circuit breaker limiting tax free amounts beyond that range. If the military and teacher 50 percent pension exemptions were also limited like Social Security to the $50,000-$60,000 range, maybe more lower-income Connecticut pensioners could share in some of the tax relief the governor is offering.

Instead he is providing less fortunate state retirees a one time $55 or $155 rebate. I wonder how that is going to work out for him.

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