My prediction concerning Augusta becoming another East St. Louis, Ill., needs updating. Previously, I stated it would be the year 2012; however, after our recent First Friday debacles, I think it could be as early as 2005.
My real purpose in contacting the paper, however, deals with the retired federal and military employees in the area. Several years back, we were being taxed on our annuities while state employees were exempt, and this was corrected by the Georgia legislators. I now request retirees in our area to contact their congressmen and senators concerning our being discriminated against on the federal level by being left out of the legislation, allowing everyone but us to pay for our health insurance with pre-tax money.
Current federal employees and our elected representatives have had this advantage since 2000. Also many private companies allow this. Two bills are now awaiting action in Congress: House Bill 2125 and Senate Bill 1022, which would correct this inequity for the retirees.
I urge you to contact your representatives and request they treat us as they have been treated.
Ken Holmes, Augusta
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