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Nebraska military retirees tax exemption advances

March 12, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Military retirees who choose to live in Nebraska could receive a partial tax break under a measure set for debate in the Legislature.

Veterans could choose between exempting 40 percent of their military retirement pay over a 7-year period after their service ends, or 15 percent for the rest of their lives once they turn 67, under the bill unanimously approved by the Revenue Committee on Wednesday. They would have to decide within two years of leaving the service.

The measure’s sponsor, Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, said the bill is designed to benefit all veterans in Nebraska, regardless of their income. The bill tries to address the challenge of keeping in the state both older retirees and younger ones who could start a new career or business, he said. Janssen said all of Nebraska’s bordering states offer something in the way of income tax breaks for military retirees, but Nebraska offers nothing.

“This puts us on the list of states that do something,” Janssen said of his measure.

The original bill would have allowed a 40 percent exemption over 10 years, but it was scaled back because of its expected cost. The current proposal would cost about $4.5 million annually.

Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs director John Hilgert said the bill could serve as a draw to service members at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, and native Nebraskans who are stationed elsewhere.

“There are Nebraskans who have made their careers serving our nation all over the United States,” he said. “We’d love to have them come back.”


The bill is LB75.

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