May is National Military Appreciation Month, and includes several national observances honoring our veterans and their families. These include Victory in Europe Day May 8, Military Spouse Appreciation Day May 10, Armed Forces Day May 18 and Memorial Day May 27.
But supporting our veterans involves more than holidays or national commemorations. This session I have joined with Assemblyman William Brough, R-Dana Point, to co-author Assembly Bill 427. The bill would exclude military retirement pay from the state’s income tax.
Twenty states do not tax military benefits at all, and 13 states only tax a portion. States excluding military retirement pay from the income tax include Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In fact, California is one of only eight states that fully taxes military retirement pay.
California is home to 1.8 million veterans, 8% of all veterans living in the United States. Since many service members are able to retire after 20 years, they have decades of their working lives ahead of them. Veterans who were stationed at places like Camp Pendleton often fall in love with our state and would prefer to live here after retirement. We should do all we can to help them do just that by joining other states that don’t tax military retirement pay.
Our veterans have never failed us, and we shouldn’t fail them. The men and women who have worn the uniform, often at great risk and sacrifice, have protected and defended all of us. Eliminating the state income tax on the benefits they have earned is something we should be proud to do for them. Making California more affordable for our veterans will benefit everyone.
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.