Seniors to be tax-exempt? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Seniors to be tax-exempt?

December 21, 2006

Valdosta  --  With rising health care costs and higher prescription prices, senior citizens feel more pressure on their wallets. A proposed bill is aimed at providing financial relief to retirees and making Georgia an attractive place to live.

Every year Georgia loses senior citizens to neighboring states. "We lose a lot of them who reach the age of 62 or 65 who move to Florida or move to Tennessee, where they can get away from the state income tax," said Lt. Gov Elect, Casey Cagle.  

Cagle says the state is feeling the loss. "These are the people who volunteer in our schools, volunteer in our hospitals."

He and state senator Tim Golden are working on a bill they hope will keep senior citizens close to home.  "Between 62 and 70 would get up to $75,000 excluded exemptions on retirement income. Anyone over 70, it would be capped at $100,000," said Golden.

If it becomes law, they hope the it will attract residents wanting to flee Florida's hurricane season but still live in a warmer climate. And they believe South Georgia will benefit. "People in Florida don't pay a state income tax, but our taxes are basically level. This would help push it to Georgia and bring a lot of retirees to Georgia."

They also say the bill will add some relief to senior citizens paying high health care and prescription fees. A similar bill failed to win passage last year. The measure is being amended this year, and they hope it will win approval and become law.    

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