Senate GOP says House stingy with military retirement tax relief

The Vermont Senate Republican Caucus released the following statement concerning the House’s action on S.53 as amended:

“Vermont Senate Republicans are extremely disappointed that the House of Representatives has failed to fully repeal the tax on military retirement income,” said Senate Minority Leader Randy Brock (R-Franklin).

Sen. Randy Brock

“Instead, House lawmakers chose to add a provision that would exempt just $10,000 in military retirement pay from state income taxes. This is an astonishingly low amount, especially after Senate and House Republicans–as well as Governor Scott–have worked for years to push for a full repeal. While we are glad our House Republican colleagues supported a larger exemption, it is disheartening to hear that the overwhelming majority of House Democrats disagreed.”

“Currently, Vermont is only one of three states that fully tax military retirement income,” added Senate Assistant Minority Leader Brian Collamore (R-Rutland). “The House’s amendment to exempt just $10,000 from state taxation would still leave Vermont with the broadest tax on military retirement income in New England, and one of the weakest exemptions in the nation. As we continue to work on economic relief measures and other efforts to make our state more affordable, this decision on the part of House Democrats sends a poor signal to existing military retirees in Vermont, as well as to those who might have otherwise considered Vermont for their retirement.”

“Vermont faces a crisis in finding and retaining workers,” said Brock.  “Military retirees frequently have the critical skills that our workforce desperately needs.  They and their spouses pay income, consumption and property taxes that far outweigh this modest benefit.  Moreover, honoring their service is the right thing to do,” he added.

“Notably, the underlying bill actually raises significant taxes and fees on Vermonters, including through the imposition of a new ‘cloud tax’ as well as a $6 million increase in mutual fund fees,” noted Brock. “In light of these proposed tax and fee increases in S.53, it is even more discouraging to see such a weak posture towards greater relief for military retirees. It is our hope that our colleagues in the Senate will work with us to remove the harmful aspects of this legislation, while adding in the full repeal of the tax on military retirement pay.”

The three states that fully tax military retirement income are Vermont, California and Virginia, in addition to the District of Columbia.  Effective January 1, 2021, Utah fully exempted military retirement income from taxation.  https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2020/states-that-tax-military-retirement-pay.html

Photo credit: Friends of Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington.

Categories: Legislation

4 replies »

  1. TAX, Military Retirement pay!!!! — “…Republicans are extremely disappointed…” The disappointment is broader than Republicans, and it’s focus is broader. We’ve turned our legislature over to folks who actually believe their mission in life is to continue the quest to confiscate our resources and spend it pursuing our happiness for us. This is what we get when we don’t supervise those we elect. Should we be communicating with these folks DAILY? Maybe they should hear more about how exasperated (disappointed) we are and what we want from them.

  2. Some 53 years ago when I accepted an appointment to the US Naval Academy from Senator G. Aiken who would have thought Vermont could devolve into such a bastion of anti-military thinking and action! The $10,000 exemption is an outright insult only outdone by the attempted plus up to $30,000. I am about to get underway again but not on this ship of state! Moving was a way of life in the military and now I will be doing it again as a retiree. The exodus continues.

  3. Thank you, Senator Brock, for standing up on this issue. Although I did not serve, my father 1943 to 1952, then joined the Vermont Army National Guard as a full time soldier. He served the Vermont Guard from 1952 to 1987, rising to the rank of Sergeant Major. To tax the retirement benefits of veterans is appalling. The time has come to do away with this reprehensible practice.


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