North Carolina Member Steps Aside

July 06 - Push For Tax Break Continues - Over the years, members have read reports about efforts to get Mass pensions exempt from income tax in North Carolina. The name that has become synonymous with this endeavor is Association member Charlie Peckham.

Unfortunately, Peckham is unable to continue as the point person for over 200 members, who retired to North Carolina, and must step aside. “I regret that I can’t pursue this to its end, but I’m confident that one of my fellow retirees will step forward and take up the fight here in our adopted state,” comments Peckham.

Since 1998, Peckham has volunteered countless hours on this issue. Starting out on his own, Peckham enlisted the Association’s help in organizing other members, living in North Carolina. Later he joined with groups of retirees from Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York to form CORTE (Coalition to Restore Tax Equity).

To expand their grassroots effort, Peckham and the other CORTE members reached out to other organizations representing North Carolina public retirees, as well as federal and military retirees. Currently, these groups are working for enactment of a bill (HB1267) in the North Carolina legislature that would exclude all federal, state, local and military pensions from the state income tax. Editor’s Note: Certain public retirees, from North Carolina and the federal government, are currently exempt from state income tax.

With the Association’s help, Peckham and Rep. Alice Underhill, of New Bern, NC, who sponsored HB1267, have contacted Association members in that state, asking them to contact their representative in support of the bill. At press time, HB1267 was in the Finance Committee of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

“Since I first talked with Charlie, and throughout these many years, I’ve sensed the energy and commitment that he brought to the effort,” recalls Association Counsel Bill Rehrey. “It goes without saying that he will be sorely missed. Good luck Charlie.”