- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

OGDEN, Utah (AP) - Utah is one of 16 states that don’t offer income tax exemptions for retired military members, but one state lawmaker is working to change that.

Veterans have served their country and giving them an income tax exemption is the right thing to do, according to Rep. Lee Perry.

Perry, a Republican from the northern Utah city of Perry, also argues that by taxing the pensions, it discourages service members from retiring in Utah and spending money in the state.

Perry is working on a bill that would give veterans a tax break, but he has not yet publically released the details of the proposal.

He plans to introduce it during the 2016 legislative session.



Utah lawmakers considered a similar proposal in 2008. It passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives but the full Senate never considered it before adjourning for the year.

Perry said he hasn’t yet heard of any opposition to reviving the idea, which lawmakers have been discussing for several years.

About 16,000 Utah residents receive a military pension, leaving Utah with a military retiree population that’s in in the bottom third of states, according to The Standard Examiner of Ogden (https://bit.ly/1VsYFO7 ).

Terry Schow, the former longtime executive head of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, said military retirees benefit the state because they have reliable incomes to buy homes and spend money.

If veteran pensions were completely exempt from state income taxes, Utah would lose about $5.7 million in annual revenue, according to an August report from the state Department of Veterans and Military Affairs.

Ted Frederick, the department’s military affairs director, told members of a state military and veterans’ commission in August that Utah used to have deduction for military pensions but it was eliminated in 2008 when the state adopted a 5 percent flat rate income tax system.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, https://www.standard.net

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