Thursday, June 30, 2022

Continuing fight to eliminate tax on Social Security

by Mike Batista
| June 14, 2022 12:00 AM

Last week, former state Senator Dee Brown of Hungry Horse sent a letter to the editor about AARP’s recent letter calling for the elimination of Montana’s taxation of Social Security Income. At AARP Montana, we understand and appreciate her passionate support for this important issue.

In the 2017 and 2019 legislative sessions there was legislation that would have eliminated Montana’s tax on Social Security income to the tune of about $75 million per year – and at the time the State just didn’t have the funds or political will to make the change.

However, in the 2021 Legislative Session, AARP supported House Bill 162. That legislation, sponsored by Representative Paul Fielder — a Republican from Thompson Falls — proposed to eliminate the state tax on Social Security. The amended legislation was well thought-out – and phased-in the elimination of the Social Security income tax over several years. AARP Montana supported the bill and encouraged our members to support it. That bill garnered a majority of votes in the House on an initial vote – but unfortunately did not pass the House Appropriations Committee. Still, we at AARP Montana believe that the bill was an important step towards Social Security tax reform for older Montanans.

AARP Montana is non-partisan. We work with both political parties on issues that are important to older Montanans. For example, in the 2021 Legislative Session, 10 of the 15 bills that AARP Montana supported were authored by Republicans.

AARP Montana will continue to work to eliminate the tax on Social Security income. To pursue that goal, AARP Montana recently met with representatives from the Governor’s office to discuss this vital issue.

The reduction or elimination of the Social Security income tax in Montana is crucial to older Montanans — especially for those living on fixed incomes and trying to cope with spiraling inflation. AARP Montana will continue to work to eliminate this outdated tax.

We applaud Senator Brown for her early work on this issue – and stand ready to continue to fight for Seniors across our State.

Mike Batista, Government Affairs Director, AARP Montana.

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