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NGAI Alert#17-1; Governor’s Military Tax Reform; 8 April 2017

GOVERNOR HOLCOMB’S MILITARY TAX PROPOSAL:

Governor Eric Holcomb has proposed making military pensions fully exempted from state taxation. We as the National Guard Association of Indiana (NGAI) believe this is an important policy to take Indiana to the next level for many reasons; not the least of which are:

  • It is important to encourage retired veterans to set their roots in Indiana where they can grow their lives and families for years to come.
  • Attracting and keeping retired veterans in the state has an important economic impact in terms of growing Indiana’s workforce with talented individuals who value their communities and will contribute on many levels.
  • Indiana is lagging behind our neighbors in incentivizing veterans and retirees to return home or choose Indiana to relocate. Three of our surrounding states have complete exemption of all military income from state taxation:
    • Michigan
    • Ohio
    • Illinois
  • Kentucky has (1) a full exemption for those that retired before 1997 or (2) an exemption up to $41,110 in annual income.

Governor Holcomb said it best in his State of the State when he said exempting veteran’s pensions from state income tax, “will make it easier for them (veterans) to stay here and attract other patriots to our great state in their post-military careers.”

We strongly encourage the Indiana General Assembly to join many other states across the country and adopt this policy.

FROM OUR STATEHOUSE ADVOCATE, CHARLIE HILTUNEN:

I think we need to emphasize the Governor’s initiative as an important tool to boost the Indiana economy by activating an incredible, but under-utilized economic force – Our Hoosier Veterans.  Most important, the Governor is giving veterans a seat at the table during the most critical time of the legislative process – the Budget Conference Committee. This opportunity can be leveraged to boost our other initiatives – support for our Veteran Service Organizations, Veteran Service Officers and other essential veteran services.

The Governor has given us a GREAT opportunity to be at the table, BUT we need to engage EVERY veteran to back the Governor’s efforts to give us the leverage he (we) needs. The Legislature has already denied him once; they won’t be able to do it again if every legislator hears from their veterans.

EVERY Hoosier veteran needs to call, write or email their legislator and encourage them to commit to support this issue. Use the message below, or send your own personal message.

Representative or Senator (click to find your state legislators),

I fully support Governor Holcomb’s military, veterans and retiree initiatives, and ask you to do the same. I’m requesting your urgent strong support by doing the following:

1. Urge your representative on the Budget Conference Committee to support the Governor’s retired military pay state income tax exemption initiative

2. To grow the Indiana Economy, while fully supporting the efforts of the Veteran Service Organizations and their mission in support of Veterans; and

3. Provide the critical infrastructure needed by our Veteran Service Officers in every county.

With the utmost respect,

Signed (your name)

Ask them to report back to you on the success of their efforts.

Thank you for your support in this critical matter.

Mike Sturm
Executive Director