Member Continues Push For Tax Break In North Carolina

NOVEMBER 2005
- Effort Began Six Years Ago - Twelve years ago, Charlie Peckham retired from teaching and moved to
North Carolina. What he soon discovered, to his dismay, was that his
newly adopted state taxed Mass. pensions.

"At
one time, North Carolina did not tax pensions from the Commonwealth and
had reciprocity with it," reports Peckham. "But then, they changed the
law to allow for only a $4,000 exemption for all public pensions.

"While
retirees, from North Carolina and federal government, were successful
in restoring a total tax exemption for themselves, pensioners from
other states, like myself, have not been as fortunate."

According
to Association Legislative Chairman Bill Hill, "Six years ago, we
reported on Charlie's initial attempt to obtain a total exemption for
our members and public retirees from other states who were living in
North Carolina. Since then, his efforts have included lobbying North
Carolina legislators and officials, organizing Association members in
that state and creating a coalition which brought together public
retirees from Mass, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and other states."

Over
the course of those years, Peckham and the others have encountered
setbacks, but they have not forsaken their ultimate goal. "We won't
give up and have our sights set on the legislative session, beginning
this January ('06) and a new bill - HB1267 introduced by Rep. Alice
Underhill of New Bern (NC) - which would extend the total tax exemption
to us," continued Peckham.

"All the
Association members in the state (over 200) have been alerted and are
gearing up for the upcoming session. Naturally we have the support of
the groups representing retirees from other states, and, with the
bill's endorsement by the State Employees Association of North
Carolina, we'll push hard, as ever, for passage."

"As
we've done since the effort began, we'll continue to help Charlie and
our members there as best we can," states Hill. "Hopefully, all their
work will eventually bring success, and we wish them good luck next
year."

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