Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is expected to sign legislation that would remove Social Security benefits and publicly funded retirement income from the state's income tax base within six years for Missourians age 62 or older. These exemptions are limited to individuals with income of less than $85,000 and married couples with income of less than $100,000. Estimates are that the legislation will cost $125 million once fully phased in.
As the nation and Missourians age, common sense dictates that the cost of HB 444 is only going to grow over time and make it more difficult to fund services that seniors (and everyone else) count on. ITEP has found that only 28 percent of elderly Missourians, generally among the better off, would benefit from the proposal. Proponents of the legislation seem oblivious to this and continue to claim that any tax on Social Security benefits is "double taxation." To find out why this argument and others in favor of the bill are deceptive, read ITEP's new policy brief.