Letters to the Editor 3/6/2003

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Taxing state, federal retirees could help in crisis

Dear Editor:

I am impressed with our governor's desire to cure the fiscal ills of our state without raising taxes. Well, how about taxing a group that has had a free ride? How many people know that federal and state retirees are not taxed by the state on retirement pay whereas the federal government does tax that income?

I am a federal retiree.

In fact, Alabama may be the only state, with a state income tax, that does not tax federal and state retirement pay. All states give a generous floor in addition to usual deductions and exemptions plans, so low income retirees are not hurt. I can't even file a state return since my income over my retirement pay does not exceed $1,500.

All us retirees have an interest in the education of the children of our community even if we don't have children in the school system and many of us do have grandchildren, at least.

I am a retiree. I would not object to such a tax. I don't believe AARP and federal and state retirement organizations would either. We should pay our fair share. I wonder if the governor and state superintendent are aware of this situation.

I have written Mr. Hammett twice on this matter but his replies seem to indicate no interest. I understand the political problem but considering the serious situation, I don't believe there would be a political problem. This tax on retirement pay would go to education Why should we get a free ride when there is a serious fiscal problem?

'If you guys reading this letter agree with, write the governor, Mr. Hammett, our senator and your education leaders. The may not be aware of this source of income.

Bob Reid