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Heintzeman, Gazelka bill would repeal retired military income tax

State Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Cass County, and state Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, earlier this month introduced legislation to exclude retired members of the military from state income taxes. This legislation would help military veterans who woul...

State Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Cass County, and state Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, earlier this month introduced legislation to exclude retired members of the military from state income taxes. This legislation would help military veterans who would like to retire and begin a second career in Minnesota, they said in a joint news release.

In a recent interview, Heintzeman estimated the bill may cost about $30 million in tax revenues, but said gains would be made from an increased number of veterans who would choose to retire and live in Minnesota and potentially start businesses.

"The unfortunate fact is that Minnesota has consistently ranked in the bottom half of states to retire as a veteran," Gazelka said. "There are two million retired military members in America today, and Minnesota is home to less than 1 percent of them because we offer no retirement incentives to veterans. Every day a service member retires from the military, and every day a military retiree is given a list of tax-friendly states in which to retire, and every day Minnesota is not on that list."

Heintzeman added, "States who have exempted retired military personnel from income taxes tend to see a large return on their investment. For example, since exempting retired military personnel from their state income tax, Wisconsin has gained $340 million additional dollars that has circulated in their economy. Their retired military residents have begun lucrative second careers; creating businesses and bringing new revenue and jobs into the state that would have otherwise not existed. Iowa enacted similar legislation last January. It's time Minnesota does the same."

Gazelka said, "I'm thrilled to see strong bipartisan support on such an important financial investment for Minnesota. Not only is supporting veterans the right thing to do, but military retirees make good neighbors. They are well educated, with many having taken advantage of educational opportunities provided by the military. As a result of their service, many have acquired advanced technical and leadership skills."

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Heintzeman added, "Minnesota is falling millions of dollars behind Wisconsin each year in retiree pension incomes. In 2001 we fell behind Wisconsin by nearly $10 million and we have fallen behind each subsequent year."

Related Topics: PAUL GAZELKA
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