Last week, in Redlands, a town in San Bernardino County about 63 miles east of Los Angeles, U.S. military veterinarians joined Assembly member James Ramos (D-Highland) in a rally in support of Assembly Bill (AB) 1623.
The legislation will introduce tax exemptions nationwide for military retirees.
Jeff Brighton, a Marines veteran living in Redlands, says the bill will be a way to get the military back.
“California military retirees appreciate the fact that MP Ramos has stepped forward to implement this bill,” Brighton said. “This legislation will not only provide a well-deserved benefit to those who have served in our country for 20 years or more, but will also help to retain and attract to California those retirees who will give their skills during second career in various key industries and professions in the great state of California. “
Ramos, the only Indian in the California Assembly, introduced the bill in January with assembly member Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta).
“Military retirees bring benefits to our country such as stability, second-career skills and federal funding,” Ramos said. “These men and women have served our nation in various valuable ways, and they and their families have often done so with great personal sacrifice. California needs to more fully recognize the contributions they make. “
AB 1623 “will require the Legislative Analyst and the State Department of Veterans Affairs to prepare an analysis of the tax exemption based on the number of pensioners who want it and to determine whether the tax relief has helped the financial security of pensioners and increased the number of to retirees who choose to stay in California, “the bill said.
Ramos noted that California is one of only nine states to fully tax the salaries of its 146,000 former retired military personnel.
Ramos says he hopes AB 1623 will make California more attractive to veterinarians by encouraging them to relocate to the state and boost its economy.
The California Council of Heads of the Association of Military Officers of America (CALMOAA) has voiced support for the bill.
“Military retirees have a steady income and bring stability to the community,” said Fred Green, president of CALMOAA and a retired lieutenant in the Navy. “It should be noted that not all military retirees collect their pensions immediately. Reservists and members of the National Guard retire at the age of 60. Nevertheless, we continue to support our community and our economy after we retire from the military.
As the bill is currently being drafted, the California Assembly will have until January 2033 to implement the tax exemption.
California’s Personal Income Tax Act currently excludes only combat-related compensation.
“We are contributing to job growth and increasing sales tax revenues. Thirty states understand this and do not tax military retirement income, Green continued. “Most military retirees are pursuing a second career, where they use their training, technical skills, leadership and knowledge. After serving in the Navy as an engineer, I became a primary school teacher and assistant professor at the college to return to my community. “
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