Raleigh, N.C. — The basic premise of reform is to cut the tax rate, then tax more things.
North Carolina is one of 35 states that doesn't tax Social Security benefits. Seniors and advocates have a message for Senate leaders: Please don't start now.
"There are a lot of rumors," said Doug Dickerson, who heads the state branch of the AARP. "Some of the ideas being tossed around are pretty scary if you're a senior."
One idea floating out of the state Senate would apply state tax to Social Security benefits for those who have supplemental income.
For Dee Hatch of Cary, who is retired, Social Security makes up two-thirds of her retirement income.
"I really count on that Social Security to pay my bills every month," Hatch said.
She is also concerned about talk of upping taxes on groceries and prescription drugs, which make up most of her bills.
"I think there are many other places that they could find a way to raise additional revenue," Hatch said.
Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, who is leading the state's tax reform movement, stressed that no details have been worked out yet.
"There is no bill yet," he said. "Speculation isn't going to help anybody."
Still, Dickerson said, many seniors are concerned.
"Adding taxes to older adults in their most vulnerable years is not good public policy," he said.