In the midst of perhaps the most severe fiscal crisis the State of Illinois has ever faced, legislators are being forced to consider new laws that increase state tax revenues. One of the more contentious proposals is to repeal the state exemption for retirement income. Because repealing that exemption would mean raising retirees’ taxes, the proposal is particularly unpopular. This Article analyzes Illinois’ exemption for retirement income, identifies its true nature, and demonstrates that it is possible to repeal the exemption for retirement income without raising taxes on retirees.

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