By NICK GERDA, Voice of OC
As Orange County supervisors move to establish a new system allowing them to pay into their pensions, Supervisor Todd Spitzer is questioning legal advice that he says gives a green light for supervisors to claim tax deductions on their pension contributions.
The new arrangement, quietly approved last week on a unanimous vote, sets up voluntary “charitable contributions” from supervisors’ paychecks to the county to compensate for their employee share of pensions.
Spitzer says he’s concerned about legal advice indicating that supervisors intend to claim the contributions as tax deductions.
“I’m not sure the IRS is going to be comfortable with this,” said Spitzer. “You’re basically reimbursing something that benefits yourself, and then you’re going to write it off.”
“On its face it doesn’t seem logical or right. It doesn’t seem lawful,” added Spitzer, who says he’s requested an IRS opinion on the issue.
Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson, meanwhile, disagrees with Spitzer’s analysis, noting that the direct pension plan payments would still come from the county.
“Anyone’s allowed to make a contribution, and it’s not your pension contribution. It’s an amount equal to” it, said Nelson.
“There’s a fictional tie-in to your pension,” he added. “You’re not actually deducting your pension contribution.”
County Counsel Nick Chrisos didn’t return a message seeking comment, and the rest of the Board of Supervisors couldn’t be reached late Tuesday afternoon.
Source: Voice of OC