DC Seniors still waiting for promise pension tax relief
In 2017 a majority of council members introduced Bill 22-0044, which allows retired public servant and military to execute up to $20,000 of pension income from DC taxes despite wide popular support. The council never held a hearing on the bill. Council reintroduced the bill in subsequent council sessions--Bill 22-0321 later in 2017 and Bill 23-0600 in 2019. Each time, the bill died and the council has not reintroduced the bill for the current session starting January 2021.
Restore DC Pension Tax Benefit
Coalition Testifying for Tax Relief
Who we are
We are a coalition of retired DC military, teachers, firefighters, police officers, DC civil servants, federal civil servants and others who have come together to demand passage of a long-pending bill that would eliminate taxes on up to $20,000 of pension income.
They were Selfless, they Sacrificed and they Served every day for lower pay!
We want to see the council enact long-pending legislation to allow retired civil servants to exclude $20,000 from taxable income.
THE HARD TRUTH
Taxpayers aged 65 or OLDER, or blind, lose enhanced personal exemption
Taxpayers aged 65 or OLDER, or blind, lose enhanced personal exemption.
For years, once D.C. taxpayers turned 65, they received a higher personal exemption when they filed their taxes. Taxpayers who are blind also received the higher personal exemption. Starting in 2018, that exemption for seniors and blind taxpayers no longer is available. This penalizes the most vulnerable taxpayers who can least afford what is in effect a tax increase. It appears that the D.C. City Council does not value seniors and taxpayers with visual impairments. See D.C. INCOME TAX WITHHOLDING Instructions, 2018 R-23-0600, Withholding Allowances for 2018.https://otr.cfo.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/otr/publication/attachments/2018%20FR-230_12.13.17.pdf
The pension annuity exclusion remained intact even during the District of Columbia’s fiscal nadir—the federal control board era (1995 – 1998) when District of Columbia finances were in shambles. Yet the exclusion was repealed during the District of Columbia’s zenith of prosperity, with an expanding population and healthy real estate market. It is an affront to seniors, predominantly African-American, to take away this modest benefit. The repeal feeds the narrative that the character of Washington is changing and that seniors who stuck with city in hard times no longer are welcome.
It feels like a slap in the face to seniors.
MOST STATES DON'T TAX PUBLIC PENSIONS
Among the 41 states with a broad-based income tax, 36 offer exclusions from retirement income or give seniors a tax credit. Maryland, for instance, excludes up to $33,100 of public and private pension income from taxation after tax payers turn 65. Virginia also exempts $12,000 of military retiree pay, a general retirement income exclusion, or a tax credit targeted at the elderly.
How to get involved
Email Council members, especially your Ward representative and the At-Large members
Raise the issues with civic organization and other groups
Encourage civic associations and other groups to join coalition