To make their case, bill sponsor Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, said most states don’t tax the elderly or their benefits.
“Thirty-eight states don’t tax us at all. Twenty-nine states of those states have by purpose eliminated the Social Security tax… Seven states, including Minnesota, do tax Social Security.”
As it turns out, Minnesota is an outlier.
Depending on your income, Social Security benefits are taxed at the federal level. For couples making less than $32,000 in adjusted gross income a year, all benefits are exempt from the income tax.
After that, couples may pay taxes on up to 85 percent of their Social Security benefits depending on their annual income.
There’s a lot of variation in how states tax Social Security benefits, with some only taxing a portion and others exempting them all together.
Senjem is correct that 38 states either have no income tax or don’t tax Social Security benefits.
According to the Minnesota House Research team, Minnesota is among seven states that tax Social Security benefits exactly like the federal government. Montana taxes benefits, too, but uses different income levels to determine how much should be taxed.
As a result, Kiplinger Magazine recently Minnesota named one of the worst states for retirees when it comes to taxes.
Senjem’s claim is accurate.