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Taxing retirement income concerns AARP Illinois and 1.7 million of its members. Why should retirees have to overwhelmingly shoulder the burden for a fiscal crisis they didn’t create?

AARP conducted a survey in 2018 that revealed 71 percent of Illinois voters 25+ oppose taxing retirement income as a way to help solve the state’s fiscal problems.

Retired seniors already pay more than their fair share of taxes; high property taxes and a combined sales tax rate nearing as much as 10 percent.

Moreover, Illinois’ older residents contribute to the state’s economy to the tune of $358.8 billion, or 46 percent of Illinois’ GDP, despite only making up 34 percent of the state’s population. This economic impact will be significantly reduced if retirement income is suddenly taxed as many will choose to leave the state somewhere more tax friendly.

A bipartisan group of Illinois elected officials such as Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Rep. David McSweeney, who introduced House Resolution 32 to oppose taxing retirement income, agree a tax should not be implemented for many of those same reasons.

There are tough choices that must be made in order to build a long-term blueprint for Illinois’ financial stability, however, surely legislators can find a comprehensive plan that is equitable for all Illinoisans. Retirees never anticipated that their retirement income would be fully taxed by the state and planned accordingly.

It is unfair and shortsighted to propose balancing the state’s budget on the backs of Illinois retirees.

Bob Gallo,

Illinois state director,



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