STATE HOUSE – Rhode Island is listed as one of Kiplinger’s top ten least tax-friendly states for retirees. Kiplinger, a leader in personal finance news, says the Ocean State is particularly tough on retirees because it not only taxes Social Security benefits but also virtually all other sources of retirement income, including pension income.
Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) says that fact is another black eye for a state that is trying to re-brand itself as a good place to live and work and run a business.
“If our goal is to attract business to Rhode Island, to grow our economy and to make it more comfortable for our citizens to stay here rather than retiring to a more tax-friendly state, such as Florida, we need to stop imposing taxes on virtually everything imaginable,” said Representative Canario. “I think we need to look at the way we tax pensions and determine if that is one policy we can change without causing damage to our budget.”
Representative Canario has introduced a bill calling for creation of a legislative commission to study the categories, methods and monetary implications of taxing personal retirement and pension income.
“I would hope we can find that eliminating the tax on pension and retirement income, or perhaps reducing the tax, will be beneficial for our state and the many retirees living here,” said Representative Canario. “At the very least, we need to take a serious look at this tax policy which hasn’t been addressed in years. We need to determine if keeping it in place is worth the bad marks our state gets for imposing it or if amending, altering or repealing these tax policies will better serve the interest of our citizens.”
As proposed by Representative Canario, the seven-member commission would include two members of the House of Representatives, the Chair of the House Committee on Finance, the Director of the Department of Revenue, the Auditor General, the Director of the Department of Administration and the General Treasurer.
The commission, if established, would be expected to report its finding to the House of Representatives by the beginning of June of this year.
The Canario legislation, (2014-H7009), has been referred to the House Committee on Finance. Co-sponsors include Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren), Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth) and Rep. Linda Finn (D-Dist. 72, Middletown, Portsmouth).
For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903