Rep. Bellino’s bill to help police and fire retirees approved by House panel

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A Michigan House committee today approved Rep. Joe Bellino’s bill providing income tax relief to younger retired police and firefighters not covered by Social Security.

Bellino’s bill affects Michigan public safety professionals who were born after 1952 and retired before 2013, bringing their tax structure more in line with many other retirees.

“This is a fairness issue for our retired police and fire department personnel,” Bellino, of Monroe, said after the House Tax Policy Committee approved his legislation. “They should not be forced to pay higher income taxes just because their employer happened to be outside the Social Security system, or just because they happened to born later than some of their peers. I’m happy the committee took this action today, and I look forward to continuing the fight for this proposal to become state law.”

The legislation would provide an increased tax deduction for retirement or pension benefits from government employment that was not covered by Social Security. The bill would allow these retirees to claim the same sort of income tax deductions already allowed for retirees covered by Social Security.

A similar fix for retirees born before 1953 and not covered by Social Security became part of state law several years ago.

The difference in taxation has been an issue since Michigan adopted broad tax reforms in 2011.

Bellino’s bill would benefit retirees from public safety departments across the state, including hundreds of members of the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association.

The legislation advances to the House floor.

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The legislation is House Bill 4396.