Letter: What would really benefit seniors?

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Again this year, Minnesota Republicans want to end the state tax on Social Security benefits. They say it will help seniors. As one such senior, I am all in favor of our Legislature helping seniors. But I find this effort curious.

Most seniors in my circle live on low to moderate income. They live both in town and further out. Some live only on their social security benefits. Yes, a fortunate few are quite well off. An unscientific poll of those seniors asked what the Legislature could do to help them.

Responses included such things as: affordable broadband, affordable insulin, capping Medicare out-of-pocket costs, expanding affordable senior transportation and housing options. Basically, leverage the power of government to improve many aspects of their lives. Not one mentioned ending this particular tax. So, who will this change actually help?

No social security income is taxed to those with incomes below $25,000 and only half of it is taxed on incomes up to $70,000. So clearly, ending all tax on Social Security benefits does little or nothing for low- and moderate-income seniors. The greatest tax savings thus go to the wealthy.

Since passing this tax change won’t help low- and moderate-income seniors, ask your state legislator why they are pushing it. Then tell them what they could do that would actually improve your life.


Edward Cohen, Rochester

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