Rauner "Not A Fan" Of Taxing Retirement Income

May 20, 2016

State employees and retirees come to the capitol to protest a plan, now tossed by the Illinois Supreme Court, to reduce their pension benefits.
Credit npr.org

Illinois workers get an added bonus once they retire: They don't have to pay taxes on pension or Social Security checks. It's one possible change the state could look to as it hunts for more money.

Illinois is a rare state that taxes income on a regular paycheck, but not on retirement.

Fiscal experts like the non-partisan Civic Federation say as Illinois' population ages, and there are more seniors, the government will increasingly lose out on a source of revenue.

The Civic Federation recommends Illinois lift that exemption, on a limited basis. It still wants to exclude all Social Security and other retirement income of less than $50,000 from getting taxed.

"I'm personally not a fan of taxing retirement income," Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday.

But he went on to say "but I don't want to get out in front of what the legislature ... the legislature's talking about a lot of different tax reforms, ideas, spending ideas. But I don't want to jump in early."

Rauner says he's open to new taxes, if Democrats get on board with his agenda to weaken unions and boost businesses.

The AARP says seniors on fixed incomes shouldn't have to bear the brunt of Illinois' fiscal problems.