Press Release from the Office of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, May 16, 2011:
Tax relief for seniors set for smooth passage
(Nashville) – The fight to protect seniors’ retirement savings has passed an important hurdle with the announcement that legislation sponsored by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) and Sen. Ken Yager (R-Harriman) to raise the standard exemption on the Hall Tax has been included in Governor Bill Haslam’s budget. The Hall Tax relief included in the budget applies to Tennesseans age 65 and older. Of the individuals who pay the Hall Tax, 48 percent are age 65 and older.
“We tell middle class folks to save and invest for their retirement and then we punish them for it by taxing their nest egg,” said Ramsey. “Working men and women of modest means who have saved wisely should not have to see their hard-earned dollars taxed. This exemption will aid middle class people who live modestly get a break on their hard earned savings.”
“I am delighted Governor Haslam has included Hall Tax relief for senior citizens in his supplemental budget plan,” said Senator Yager. “This was part of my platform when I ran for State Senate; therefore, I am very pleased that it was included in the Governor’s budget. This puts the bill in excellent shape moving into the final days of this legislative session and making this tax relief closer to reality for many senior citizens across Tennessee.”
Currently, persons over 65 with total income less than $16,200 for a single filer or $27,000 for a joint filer are exempt. Senate Bill 261 increases, beginning with tax year 2012, the annual Hall Income Tax standard income exemption for taxpayers 65 years of age or older from $16,200 to $26,200 for single filers and from $27,000 to $37,000 for joint filers.
The exemption has not been revised in over a decade.