VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Of the 41 states that tax income, 26 exempt all military pension. Of the other 15 states that do tax income -- Virginia being one of them -- nine permit partial military pension income tax exemption.
And that's where HB1128 and SB 528 come in.
For veterans 55 years and older, the measures establish an income tax subtraction for up to $10,000 of military benefits in the taxable year 2022, $20,000 in 2023, $30,000 in 2024, and $40,000 in 2025.
The bills define military benefits to include military retirement income and benefits paid to the surviving spouse of a veteran.
The measures passed the General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support. The vote was 98-0 in the House of Delegates, and, 40-0 in the Senate.
On Friday morning, they were ceremonially signed by Governor Glenn Youngkin.
“As part of my Day One Game Plan, I’ve pledged to fight for a reduction in military veteran retirement pay taxation, and today, we are delivering on that promise," said Youngkin. "This is a great step toward making Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the country."
Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) agrees.
"He's kept his campaign promise. He's kept true to his word of 'we're going to take care of our military.' And I think he's done a great job with that," he said.
DeSteph is a Navy veteran himself, and, a sponsor of the bill. He said taking care of vets is the right thing to do, for them and for the state.
"We need to make sure that we continue keeping our military here. We want them to stay here when they retire," he said. "We want them as active members of the community, we want to keep them involved. This is a good way to say, 'Hey guys, we want to keep you here. Please stay.'"
Del. Anne Ferrell Tata (R-Virginia Beach) sponsored the House version of the legislation. She told 13News Now: "We've got to do everything we can to keep our military here."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia's veterans' population stands at more than 720,000.