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.
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.
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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.