Opinion | Rick Scott tax plan bad news for retirees

Bill Sauers


Published in The Palm Beach Post, April 18, 2022

Like many Floridians, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to live here when Tax Day comes around each year. With no state income tax, we get to keep more of the money we earn and have an easier time saving for college, buying a house, and planning for retirement. With the cost of living going up, this provides some much-needed relief for families struggling to make ends meet.

So imagine my surprise when I saw that Senator Rick Scott recently introduced a plan for the Republican Party that would raise taxes on nearly half of all Americans, forcing seniors and working class families to pay more when they file their taxes every year. His plan also includes provisions that could sunset Medicare and Social Security, jeopardizing the health care and retirement benefits that millions of Florida seniors have spent their entire lives earning.

When others pointed out how much of a disaster his agenda would be for seniors across our state, Scott went on TV to double down on his plan. The wealthiest member of Congress, with a net worth of more than $200 million, told working Floridians and retirees that they’re not paying their fair share.

Republicans across the country have begun echoing Scott’s calls to raise taxes for those who can least afford it. Our other Senator, Marco Rubio, has been too weak to rule out Scott’s agenda. It’s no mystery why Rubio won’t disavow Scott’s plan: he advocates cuts to Social Security and Medicare. He’s even gone so far as to say Republicans should look into cutting these essential programs to help pay for the $1.9 trillion tax cut that he voted for as a handout to wealthy corporations.

Rubio and Scott represent more seniors than almost any other U.S. Senator. But instead of backing plans to deal with the real problems retirees are facing — from high healthcare costs to rising rent to fraud schemes targeting seniors — they’re leaving us behind.

No one enjoys filing their taxes, but Floridians should take note: if Rick Scott gets his way, Tax Day in the future could be a lot more painful.

Bill Sauers is the President of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, a nonprofit that represents more than 200,000 retired Floridians across the state.