Lawmakers push to exempt retirement income from state income tax to stop seniors from leaving

Government And Institutions Associated Press

Top lawmakers are pushing to exempt Social Security, pensions and other retirement income from the state income tax as a way to stop seniors from leaving Rhode Island.

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The state stands to lose $20 million to $40 million annually in revenue from the tax on Social Security and $100 million or so more if other retirement income is also exempted. Even the lawmakers say the state can't afford that.

They've introduced about a dozen bills so far with different ways to structure a cut, to start a conversation about how the state can help retirees.

Some propose exempting all retirement income. Others are focusing on Social Security or the first $15,000 in income from a retirement plan.

Changing the tax policy is House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's top priority.