Ricketts announces plan to aid veterans

January 6, 2019

Governor Pete Ricketts on Firiday announced a new plan to expand military retirement tax relief. He was joined by Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) Director John Hilgert, Adjutant General of the Nebraska National Guard Major General Daryl Bohac and President of the Nebraska Chapter of the Military Officers of Association of America (MOAA) Colonel Dan Donovan, among others.

“Over the years as I have traveled Nebraska, military retirement tax relief has been a top priority for veterans and their families,” Ricketts said, in a release. “We want to make Nebraska the most veteran-friendly state in the country and encourage our heroes to stay in our state and move here. Surrounding states provide tax relief for veterans, and with this proposal, we can make our state more competitive regionally and nationally.”

The new proposed law would exempt 50 percent of military retirement pay from being taxed, and would include all of Nebraska’s military retirees receiving payments from the Department of Defense. As of fiscal year 2017, this included over 13,000 Nebraskans. The plan would deliver $15 million in tax relief for our state’s retired military veterans annually.

Currently, only certain retired military personnel in Nebraska have options for partial income tax exemptions for their military retirement pay. Starting on taxable year January 1, 2015, certain retired veterans have been able to choose to exempt 40% of their military retirement pay for seven taxable years or 15 percent of their military retirement pay starting once they turn 67. Those who retired before July 18, 2012, are not eligible for any income tax exemption.

“Veterans groups in Nebraska have been talking about this issue and working towards this for at least 20 years,” Donovan said, in a statement. “Not only will it encourage veterans to decide to remain in Nebraska, it will enhance our state’s ability to meet the growing need for technologically adept and motivated employees and entrepreneurs starting businesses. It’s a win-win for Nebraska.”

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