Krause, McClune seeks changes to Social Security tax guidelines | File
Krause, McClune seeks changes to Social Security tax guidelines |  File

Krause, McClune seeks changes to Social Security tax guidelines | File

LITTLE VALLEY – Two county lawmakers are asking the government to change the Social Security tax guidelines to help senior citizens who are having trouble paying their bills.

Legislators Charles Krause (C-Great Valley) and Kenneth “Bucky” McClune (D-Salamanca) co-sponsor a resolution calling on the federal government to raise the income limit for social security income taxation. Currently, single people aged 65 or over, whose total annual income is more than $ 25,000, pay tax of up to 50 percent of their social security income. For married couples, the threshold is $ 32,000. The government established this legislation in 1984.

In 1994, according to the resolution, the government passed additional legislation that said that single people aged 65 or older, whose total annual income is more than $ 34,000, would pay tax of up to 85 percent of their social security income. For married couples, this limit is $ 44,000.

McClune and Krause say the $ 25,000 threshold for singles should be raised to $ 50,000 and the $ 32,000 threshold to $ 64,000. They say the $ 34,000 threshold should be increased to $ 70,000 and the $ 44,000 threshold to $ 95,000.

According to the resolution, one-third of Americans are over the age of 65, and social security benefits make up 90 percent of their total income. The resolution says that the income thresholds have not been changed to keep pace with inflation and the devaluation of the dollar. Seniors are having a hard time paying bills due to rising fuel prices and the increased cost of living.

“It’s something that should be done,” McClune said. “Income levels have risen sharply due to the devaluation of the dollar. It’s bad enough that people still have to pay social security taxes, but the federal government started it in 1984.”

McClune said he and Krause came up with the proposed income thresholds.

“We were just estimating what it would be like now, after all these years,” McClune said. “They do not have to take our numbers, but they should just jump it to a level commensurate with the value of a dollar.”

If the senior services and finance committees approve the decision on Wednesday, it will be considered by the Legislative Assembly on March 28. The senior service committee meets on Wednesday at 18.30 and the Finance Committee at 19.15

Krause predicts that the decision will be approved without any problems.

“This is something we want to move forward with as lawmakers. The dollar just does not go as far as it used to,” he said. “Some people, the only income they have is social security.

“When it goes through the committee, I think there will be additional support,” Krause said.

Legislators sometimes agree to sponsor decisions when they come before the Legislature.

“I hope someone will stand up (March 28) and say, ‘Put us all together,'” Krause said. “It happens very often with something like that. I suppose there will be that kind of support.”

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