Proposes Legislation to Eliminate State Taxes on All Retirement Income for Military Veterans
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he will reintroduce legislation in the upcoming 2018 legislative session to eliminate all state income tax on retirement income received as a result of military service. The Hogan administration has introduced similar legislation during the past three legislative sessions, however it has yet to pass in full.
The governor made the announcement at the State House during Veterans Appreciation Month and in advance of the nation’s 99th commemoration of Veterans Day on Saturday. He was joined by Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary George W. Owings III; members of the Maryland Veterans Commission, including Chairman Fred Shinbur; Commander Betty Brown of Disabled American Veterans; Maryland Military Officers Association of America President Harvey Kaplan; and Art Cooper, chair of the Senior Citizens League of the Retired Enlisted Association. Also in attendance were representatives of numerous veterans’ organizations including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Order of the Purple Heart, the Fleet Reserve Association, AMVETS, the Vietnam Veterans Association, the Korean War Veterans Association, and the Maryland National Guard.
“There can’t possibly be words adequate enough to express our sincere gratitude, respect, and appreciation to all of our military veterans,” said Governor Hogan. “These heroes make Maryland stronger, and we want to do everything we can to make sure that all of our veterans can continue to live, work, raise a family, and eventually retire, right here.
“Not only is this a deserved benefit for those who have served our country, this bill will also help make Maryland more competitive with other states in our region that already offer this benefit. We cannot afford to lose our veterans to neighboring states.”
Three states bordering Maryland already offer either full or partial tax exemption for military retirement income. Delaware offers partial exemption, while Pennsylvania and West Virginia fully exempt military retirement pay.
This proposed legislation comes on the heels of the governor’s announcement last month that he will introduce a bill to expand the Hometown Heroes Act of 2016, which exempted retired law enforcement and fire, rescue, and emergency response personnel from state income taxes on retirement income, to include correctional officers and exempt all retirement income from state taxes, rather than just the first $15,000.
Since taking office in 2015, Governor Hogan has taken numerous steps to fulfill his commitment to eliminate state income taxes on all retirement income. In 2015, the governor enacted legislation to increase the tax exemption on military retiree pensions from $5,000 to $10,000 for retirees 65 years or older. During the 2016 legislative session, in addition to championing the Hometown Heroes Act, the governor introduced a bill that would have expanded retirement income tax exemption to all military retirement income. Despite the administration’s best efforts, the legislature failed to take action, and the proposed legislation did not make it out of committee.
“Our proposal has been championed by legislators on both sides of the aisle, and the time to act is now,” said Governor Hogan. “It is simply the right thing to do on behalf of those who have done so much for all of us. That is why I am confident that by working together, we can finally pass this critical, much-deserved tax relief for all of our Maryland heroes.”
"As Secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, I am honored to stand with Governor Hogan this day and I thank him for standing by his continued commitment to our military retirees,'' said Secretary Owings. "By increasing the military retirement pay tax exemption to 100%, we send yet another message that Maryland is dedicated to being a military friendly state for all veterans who live and retire here."