- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation to sharply increase state income tax exemptions for military retirees.

A Senate Finance subcommittee sent to the full panel Tuesday legislation to increase a current tax exemption on retirement income for veterans 64 and under from $3,000 to $15,000 every year.

The panel also approved increasing tax exemptions for veterans over 65 from $15,000 to $30,000 annually. The exemptions would take effect in the current tax year.

The panel amended legislation that had called for a three-year, phased-in plan to exempt all income taxes for retirees who had for served 20 years.

William Bethea, chairman of the state’s Military Base Task Force, said he was elated. Bethea has worked for three years to increase veterans’ tax exemptions.

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