- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A bill has been introduced in the Rhode Island legislature to exempt Social Security and other retirement benefits from the state income tax.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has said his top priority this legislative session is exempting the benefits from the income tax, because taxing benefits drives people out of Rhode Island and the state needs to provide incentives for them to stay to help the economy.

He has said the cut could cost the state $20 million to $40 million annually.

Rep. Robert Craven, a North Kingstown Democrat, introduced the legislation Thursday. He says his bill would bring significant financial relief to Rhode Island seniors. The bill has more than 40 co-sponsors.

Mattiello says Craven’s bill offers a broad exemption and may have to be trimmed back.

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