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Letter: Double exemption for some pensions

(L-R) James Hunderfund, former superintendent of Commack/Malverne; Richard

(L-R) James Hunderfund, former superintendent of Commack/Malverne; Richard Brande, former superintendent of Comseogue; Ronald Friedman, former superintendent of Great Neck/Long Beach; and Leon Campo, former superintendent of East Meadow, top the list of maximum annual pensions among retired school administrators on Long Island. Credit: Newsday

Newsday is right to spotlight the bountiful pensions paid to retired educators and others [“First in pension payouts,” News, Oct. 23]. These pensions are a major reason that town and school budgets are being squeezed.

There is one other factor that outrages me. Because of a ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals, these pensions are free of state income taxes. By contrast, those of us who receive pensions from private-sector sources must pay state taxes on all but the first $20,000.

A bill to ease this injustice — by doubling the exemption to $40,000 — was removed from the state budget bill by the “three men in a room,” the governor and two legislative leaders. If we want to help senior citizens continue to live in our homes in New York State, near our longtime friends and neighbors, it is imperative that such a bill be adopted.

Stuart Chamberlain, West Sayville