DC Council silent on bill granting seniors’ major tax relief

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!

Our goal

We want to see the council enact long-pending legislation to allow retired civil servants to exclude $20,000 from taxable income.

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


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-230, Withholding Allowances for 2018.



On November 11, 2017, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home to lay a wreath in honor of Veterans Day.  Some 455 military retirees live in the AFRH in Ward 5, where the average age is 84.  They and the thousands of veterans throughout the city are impacted by repeal of the Pension Annuity Exclusion.  Surely a more effective way to honor them would be swift passage of Bill 22-0321, which restores and substantially increases the pension annuity exclusion.


DC wants Statehood but doesn’t treat its military, fire, police, teacher, federal and postal retirees like 36 other states regarding pension annuity exclusion. It takes more to being a state than saying we want to be a state. DC has to act like a state and take care of its Public Sector retirees—military, police, fire, teachers federal and postal. The DC Council repeal of the pension annuity exclusion is mutually exclusive with being a state. 36 states have full or partial pension annuity exclusions. DC council is going against the trend of 36 states. If you can’t take care of your home, you don’t need home rule!


The pension annuity exclusion remained intact even during the District of Columbia's fiscal nadir -- the federal control board era 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 the city in hard times no longer are welcome. It feels like a slap in the face to seniors.


Among the 41 states with a broad-based income tax, 36 offer exclusions retirement income or give seniors a tax credit. For instance, grant a tax credit aimed at seniors. Maryland, for instance, excludes up to $30,600 of public and private pension income from taxation and Virginia also exempts $10,000 of military retiree pay, a general retirement income exclusion, or a tax credit targeted at the elderly.

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