Letter to the Editor

Jetton led effort for retirees

Monday, June 11, 2007

To the editor:Positive leadership on important issues is all too rare in government. That is why I'm writing to laud the leadership of a lawmaker from our area who has made a positive difference this year. House Speaker Rod Jetton of Marble Hill is the one largely responsible for a huge step forward for Missouri's seniors and retirees. It was Jetton who stepped up to propose the tax cut on retirement income that passed both houses of the legislature. When the cuts are fully phased in over the next six years, seniors with an adjusted gross income up to $85,000 or married taxpayers filing a combined return with an adjusted gross income up to $100,000 will pay no state income tax on their Social Security benefits, Social Security disability benefits and benefits received from a nonprivate retirement system for individuals 62 years of age or older.

The military retirement pay exemption in particular is one that I championed last year as I chaired the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans Affairs, which unanimously recommended it to the governor and the legislature. We want military retirees to choose to live in Missouri. This change allows us to attract more military retirees to settle here whether they are originally from Missouri or other states. Congratulations to Jetton for demonstrating such leadership on this issue.

PETER D. KINDER, Lieutenant Governor, Jefferson City, Mo.