GOP Lawmakers Propose Exempting Social Security Payments from Hall Tax Threshold Assessment

Press release from the Republican Caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Nov. 10, 2015:

Representative Sexton, Senator Bailey File Legislation Fighting Back Against Hall Income Tax

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Cameron Sexton (R–Crossville) and State Senator Paul Bailey (R–Sparta) announced this week they have filed legislation that will support seniors and fight back against Tennessee’s Hall income tax — a state tax on interest and dividend income from investments.

Seniors sixty-five and older whose total annual income is $37,000 or less, or $68,000 for joint filers, are not subject to the Hall income tax. However, when calculating this income threshold, the state includes all social security payments to that individual — a calculation in which Sexton and Bailey believe to be totally unfair to Tennessee seniors.

“This tax is bad enough for Tennesseans who spend their hard-earned money to invest in their futures,” said Representative Sexton. “But what’s even worse is also using social security checks to double down on our seniors — by using it to determine their tax burden.”

Under House Bill 1422 and Senate Bill 1443, for tax years beginning January 1, 2016 and thereafter, social security benefits will be excluded from the determinations of the Hall income tax.

“Using social security benefits to determine the amount of Hall income tax to pay amounts to triple taxation on our seniors,” continued Bailey. “Participation in social security is mandatory and benefits are already used in some instances for federal income taxes. Tennessee should not be adding to the tax burden for the elderly.”

The average Tennessean receives $15,070 per year in social security benefits.

“We should be doing all we can to assist our seniors, not punishing them for living fiscally responsible lives,” concluded Sexton.

Currently in Tennessee, 161,722 individuals are affected by the Hall Income tax with 75,576 being seniors over 65 years of age.

The full text of House Bill 1422/Senate Bill 1443 can be found by visiting