Taxing Seniors
June 28, 2009 (letter to Lansing State Journal)



Tax retirement income

With all the official hand-wringing over the state budget, none of our leaders seem to have the courage to suggest taxing Social Security, pensions and IRA distributions. The IRS taxes these types of income, and so do Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Vermont. In Michigan, taxable income from those sources totaled more than $32 billion in 2007.

It's time to stop thinking of seniors as impoverished. Of all the 2007 federal income tax returns from Michigan residents that reported Social Security benefits, 52 percent had incomes over $50,000.

I think I speak for all seniors when I say we are ready to pay our share.

Steve Harry




Retiree tax idea opposed

It must be that Steve Harry (Letters, June 28) has plenty of income since he wants to give some away to the government by taxing his retirement income.

I retired on a fixed income. I retired knowing that it would not be taxed in Michigan. I took that into account at the time I retired so I could budget for my later years, suspecting that Social Security will be defunct by the mid-2020s. Harry wants to tax my retirement now, after I've done my best to plan ahead despite the down economy. All this will do is force me to seek additional employment, taking jobs from younger people.

If Harry had suggested taxing retirement income over a certain dollar amount, I might entertain the idea.

However, Harry certainly does not speak for all of us retirees not making over $50,000 a year from a pension.

Bill Burtch



Senior will make own call

Steve Harry (Letters, June 28) wrote in about taxing retirement income.

The last paragraph stated, "I think I speak for all seniors when I say we are ready to pay our share."

Harry's thinking process is suspect. This senior's advice is to obtain data before expressing such overall conclusions for all seniors.

This particular senior places nothing above the verdict of his own mind and certainly does not agree with these questionable conclusions.

Harvey Adkins