On Friday, January 4th, at 10:30 am, Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts announced his plan to increase retirement benefits for Veterans in the state. The plan would allow a 50% state tax exemption of all military retirement pay in a bid to keep more Veterans living in Nebraska. Governor Ricketts announced the plan at the state capitol and stated that his ultimate goal is “to make Nebraska the most Veteran friendly state in the nation.”
Nebraska is slightly behind other states in the movement to give tax exemptions for Veterans. At the start of 2019, 29 of the 50 states had some form of tax exemption for retired military members, with 5 of the 6 states neighboring Nebraska giving tax exemptions to Veterans. The Veterans’ Retirement Tax Relief Expansion would allow all Veterans to qualify for a 50% tax exemption for military retirement benefits. The plan would also alter previous legislation, which only allows those who retired after January 2015 to qualify for exemptions. Overall, the plan would save an estimated $15 million for the approximately 14,000 veterans in the state.
The legislation was introduced by Senator (and Army Veteran) Tom Brewer and can be considered a “win-win” for the state. It will provide Veterans the opportunity to receive tax exemptions on their retirement income, while also assisting Nebraska in retaining the talent pool of Veterans returning from service.
Governor Ricketts was joined was joined by Senator Robert Clements, Senator Carol Blood, and Senator Sue Crawford to announce the plan. He was also joined by Veterans John Pilgert, Dan Donovan (current president of the Military Officers Association of America Heartland Chapter), and Major General Daryl Bohac (Adjutant General of the Nebraska National Guard).
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