To our federal and state elected officials: Remember senior citizens?
Those 50 million (not including disabled and Social Security Income recipients) individuals over 65 who earned Social Security benefits.
Those 50 million individuals over 65 who supported America the last 50 plus years through working, paying taxes and serving in three wars.
We are 50 million Americans who need help now. (We’re not going to be around forever.)
Regarding federal taxes:
In 1984, Social Security benefits became taxable subject to thresholds that have not changed in 32 years. The single threshold of $25,000 is equivalent to $58,430 in 2017.
Millions of retirees earned a taxable monthly pension which makes their Social Security taxable. Retirees who returned to work to make ends meet make their Social Security taxable. The pension or wages not only make their Social Security benefits taxable but disqualifies them from senior citizen real estate tax exemptions or senior utility and other discounts.
The 1983 Commission on Taxable Social Security put thresholds in place in order not to tax the “lower income.” The US median income is $60,430 in 2017. “Low income” varies greatly but Washington state for property tax exemptions uses a $30,000 to $40,000 limit. A recipient with $30,000 (low income) pays $4,050 in federal taxes.
It is past time to repeal the tax on Social Security benefit. New laws should exempt monthly annuity pensions from taxes.
Regarding the cost of living adjustment:
Millions of Social Security recipients and millions of federal and military retirees received no COLA in 2015 and benefits and several pensions were ZERO in 2015 and 0.3 percent in 2016. Yet, we all know that all of our living expenses have far exceeded 0.3 percent.
On Feb. 28, Rep. John Garamendi, D-California, introduced a bill in the U.S. House Bill to improve COLAS. If passed, this bill would have increased cost of living adjustments by 2.7 percent for 2015 and 2016. The average federal annuitant would have an increase of approximately $950 per year.
We need to tell our U.S. representatives and senators to change the taxability of our Social Security and pensions; and that we need to update the COLA; and it needs to be done NOW.
We should be the first priority. We supported America, and America needs to support us.