Harris puts himself in line of fire with push to tax retirees
State Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) is risking the ire of the nation’s largest advocacy group for retirees by pushing two bills to tax retirement income. Harris also recently backed the increase in state income tax to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent.
“Retirees are facing tough times like everyone else, and it would be (an) additional burden to ask them to pay for a problem they didn’t create,” Gerado Cardenas, communications director for AARP Illinois, told the North Cook News. “The state still needs money, but our position won’t change. We need to restore Illinois’ fiscal health, and we need to do it without targeting any specific group.”
Harris' proposals include taxing retirement payments for anyone under age 65 who makes more than $80,000 a year and anyone 65 or older who makes more than $100,000 a year.
“This isn’t a new idea, and it’s been floating around for a while, ever since the state started experiencing its deep budget crisis,” Cardenas said. “We remain as strongly opposed to the idea as we’ve always been.”
Cardenas said the latest research shows the Illinois AARP has the full support of its vast membership, adding that a 2016 poll found that 90 percent of all 50-and-over respondents said such taxation would have a negative impact on their household. Sixty percent of the respondents said they would have to consider going back into the workforce, and 80 percent said they would have an issue with any politician who supported such legislation.
“We collected over 15,000 signatures and presented them to legislators,” Cardenas said. “We’ll continue to spearhead the drive-in opposition to this.”
Harris is the ranking Republican on the House's General Services Appropriations and the Revenue and Finance committees.