- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The national commander of the American Legion is asking South Carolina lawmakers to cut taxes for the state’s retired military veterans.

Dale Barnett spoke Wednesday to a joint session of the House and Senate.

Barnett praised lawmakers for taking a number of military-friendly steps, such as removing a one-year residency requirement so veterans can get in-state tuition at state colleges.

He also noted that lawmakers are considering legislation to sharply reduce, and then eliminate, state income taxes on pensions earned by those who have served 20 years in uniform.

Barnett said the move would attract young retirees to the state and show gratitude for their military service. Critics question whether the state can afford the $33 million annual cost if the cuts are fully implemented.

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