Undaunted, the full House Republican Caucus also moved to stop the Pension Tax on the floor of the House earlier today. Their efforts were thwarted by a voice vote of the majority democrats.
“Yesterday the House Finance Committee had an opportunity to stop HB 1092 that would tax pension incomes but we were out-voted. Today the full House had the chance to stop this bill, and failed to do so. Our senior citizens are now at risk,” noted Rep Barbara Marumoto who represents Kaimuki, Waialae and Kahala.
“We will not give up our efforts to stop the pension tax,” House Republican Leader Gene Ward stated. “This is a slippery slope. As soon as the State starts taxing pension income they can easily lower the threshold and hurt our senior citizens who are struggling with limited incomes.”
“This bill (HB1092) violates one of the basic goals of the House Republican Caucus to keep taxes from increasing further so that the burden of high taxes and a high cost of living in Hawaii does not further harm our residents,” added Rep. Gil Riviere from the North Shore of Oahu.
House Bill 1092, proposed by the Abercrombie Administration, would eliminate the long-standing tax exemption in State law for pension income. Abercrombie’s bill originally proposed to tax the entire income of any senior receiving as low as $37,500 in total income for the year. This threshold was changed by the House Finance Committee to $100,000, but many are worried that this figure could easily slide down as the bill moves through the Legislative session. If enacted into law, the total AGI (adjusted gross income) could also be lowered further in future years, hurting more residents.
“We share the concerns of organizations like AARP and retired police, fire, teachers, and public servants who realize this bill sets a bad precedent and could lead to further erosion of their hard-earned retirement income,” stated Rep Gene Ward.
The House Republican Caucus is Minority Leader Gene Ward, Minority Floor Leader Kymberly Marcos Pine, Minority Policy Leader Barbara C. Marumoto, Assistant Minority Leader Cynthia Thielen, Assistant Floor Leader Corinne W.L. Ching and Minority Whips, Representatives George Fontaine, Aaron Ling Johanson, and Gil Riviere.