A tax cut bill with a heavyweight for a sponsor might be carrying a bit too much weight as it moves to the Senate. House Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) is glad to see the House approve his measure, HB 444 , to eliminate the state tax on Social Security benefits. But he’s not sure what reception the bill will have in the Senate, especially since the House increased its price tag from $130 million to at least $285 million.
Jetton has championed tax cuts since learning that the state budget might end the fiscal year with a $300-to-500 million surplus. The cost of Jetton’s build expanded when House members included other pension income. Jetton favors the concept of removing all state taxes on retirement income, but he concedes the state budget could not afford giving up that much revenue.
Some key senators don’t share Jetton’s optimism about the state budget and have been very reluctant to embrace Jetton’s bill, though the Social Security benefit tax cut has the support of the governor. Jetton has a number in mind as he anticipates negotiating about the size of a tax cut with the Senate. He believes the state budget can afford a $200 million tax cut without hurting the operations of state government.