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Veterans Asking State Leaders For Tax Benefits

A group of veterans went to the capitol today to hand out flyers asking for support in certain areas including tax benefits.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Veterans are questioning why they are being taxed on military retirement pay after years in the service.

Today at the capitol, veterans handed out flyers to representatives and senators asking for a couple of things.

Exempting military retirement pay was at the top of the list.
Most states -- around Arkansas already do that -- including Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama and Louisiana.

Veterans explained to leaders how exempting military retirement pay could help boost Arkansas' economy.

Don Berry, with the Military Officers Association, says, "There are only six states in the nation that have an older retired population and part of that is due to the fact that young retirees from Arkansas aren't coming home."

He says the benefit of attracting younger retirees to the state is that they typically go back into the work force, sometimes even starting new businesses which means new tax dollars in the state.

Senator Jane English said, "And I think the big reason I've pushed it for so many years is it's an economic development thing."

Senator English says she's been working on legislation to end military retirement taxes since 2009.

So far, her efforts haven't received enough support.

She said, "It's always a matter of money. It would reduce some of the money that goes into the state coffers."

Senator English says she will again work on legislation for the 2015 session that supports a military retirement tax exemption.

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