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Justice seeks tax break for retired vets

By ANDREA LANNOM

Times West-Virginian

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — Gov. Jim Justice is asking the Legislature to pass a bill to exempt military retirement from the state’s income tax.

Justice announced in a Friday news release he wants to give veterans a 100 percent tax exemption for military retirement, saying he sees it as a way to support the state’s veteran population and to attract out-of-state veterans.

 Speaking with Talkline’s Hoppy Kercheval Friday morning, the governor said, “We need to pro-actively reward our vets. They’ve given us our freedom in every way.”

The news release said this would amount to a $3.1 million tax break for military families and would be possible through the governor’s proposed revenue enhancements in his budget.

“We owe everything to our veterans because their sacrifice and service have made the United States the greatest country on Earth,” Justice said in the press release. “I fully support giving our veterans a tax break on military retirement. It will go a long way toward helping military families that are struggling to get by. I hope it will incentivize veterans who are native West Virginians to return home and attract veterans from all over the country to move here.”

A bill in the House of Delegates, sponsored by Delegates Pat McGeehan, a Republican, and Mike Pushkin, a Democrat, would exempt military retirement from personal income taxation in West Virginia. Their bill went to the Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee on Feb. 8, but no action has been taken.

Andrea Lannom is a reporter with The (Beckley) Register-Herald, a sister newspaper of the Times West Virginian.

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