Menu Bar

Home           Calendar           Topics          Just Charlestown          About Us

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

MAGA Morgan introduces bill to give tax break to higher income Rhode Islanders

Morgan tries the oldest trick in the book on Rhode Island seniors

By Will Collette

Charlestown state Senator Elaine Morgan issued a news release to mark her introduction of new legislation to eliminate the state's income tax on ALL Social Security income. In her statement, she notes the economic plight of seniors and claims her bill will "be akin to giving Rhode Island retirees a raise."

Except that's a lie.

In fact, Rhode Island has already enacted legislation to make Social Security income exempt from state income tax for single seniors with net incomes of $95,800 and couples with net incomes of $119,750 or less.

Any Rhode Islander relying solely on Social Security is already fully exempt from state income tax. Most of the rest of Rhode Islanders drawing Social Security payments are under the income limit to receive the tax break. That includes all Rhode Islanders whose incomes from all sources are in the defined "middle class" income brackets.

So Morgan's proposal only covers the Republican Party's favorites: upper-income earners.

When the current Social Security tax legislation was introduced and then enacted almost 10 years ago, Morgan's colleague, the fact-challenged ex-state Rep for Charlestown Blake "Flip" Filippi took credit for it. But in fact, it was Rep. Bob Craven's bill that ended up getting signed into law.

Here's Morgan's news release and Senator Sam Bell's rebuttal.

Other falsehoods in the release: Morgan consistently votes against bills to preserve and expand the social safety net.
Morgan's legislation has nothing to do with the Rhode Island middle class which is defined by the Pew Research Center as an annual income range of $25,989-$77,967 for a single and for a couple, a range of $36,754-$110,262.
Thus, everyone deemed "middle class" in Rhode Island is below the limit to have their Social Security income exempted from state income tax under current state law.
Older Rhode Islanders do not "feel the effects of inflation more than the rest of us." I say that as a senior citizen on a fixed income. Inflation effects are more income-related than age-related. 

Morgan's news release drew a quick retort from Sen. Sam Bell (D-Providence):