State shouldn’t take more from its seniors

It is about time legislators take a look at the unfair school property tax that has been burdening Pennsylvania residents forever.

Now all of a sudden, State Rep. Frank Ryan is offering a proposal to stop the practice of school districts using our homes as collateral to support school spending by shifting that collateral burden to retirements of senior residents.

Unfortunately, part of his proposal would harm the most vulnerable of constituents — the elderly. Why? Because the proposal he will introduce contains a 4.92 percent tax on retirement/pension withdrawals.

Frankly, this is nothing more than the political hand reaching deeper into senior citizens’ pockets and hoping for a windfall. And to make it sound less invasive, they will exclude whatever portion the employee has contributed to the plan.

Then, to make it sound even better, your Social Security would be exempt from this tax. We are frankly tired of being the state’s personal ATM when someone in Harrisburg needs money.

Here is the best part: The state would only keep revenue from 3.07 percent of what’s collected, and the rest would go to the local school district.

Public and private pensions, railroad retirement benefits and all Social Security income are presently excluded from taxable income for tax purposes within the state. So, once again, the government vultures are looking to get a gold mine while our seniors get the royal shaft.

Seniors have worked long and hard all their lives scrimping and saving to ensure themselves a comfortable life in retirement, and now our illustrious politicians in Harrisburg again want their cut of your retirement savings.

Remember, just because it might be legal doesn’t make it right.

As a longtime resident of Blair County, I strongly urge our legislators to oppose all attempted legislation that contains any tax or attachment to senior’s “retirement/pensions” that is introduced now or in the future.

If passed, this action would shift an even higher monetary burden on older Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania residents have paid into retirement plans over their lifetimes, and they count on these benefits for a secure retirement.

Seniors should not be forced to give up any part of what they need to enjoy active lives and basic necessities such as food or medicine. Many are already pinching pennies in these areas without this added burden.

Our legislators need to do the right thing and act responsibly in the best interests of their older constituents.

William C. Fink