Monday, 17 June 2024

Ramos bill with exemption for military pensions heads to Senate

Military retirees and their surviving spouses are one step closer to seeing their armed forces pensions exempt from state taxation after the Assembly on Monday approved AB 46 on a bipartisan 77-0 vote. Several past attempts at similar legislation have failed to pass the house of origin.

The bill, AB 46, was introduced earlier this year by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino) who also authored a similar measure last year that did not make it out of the Assembly.

“I’m not one to give up on something I think is important,” Ramos said. “California is the only state to tax the pensions of our military personnel. We need to make the state more veteran friendly and honor the many sacrifices of our armed services personnel and their spouses.”

AB 46 tax benefits would begin on or after January 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2034.

Esmeralda Soria, chairperson of the Assembly Committee of the Military and Veterans Affairs Esmeralda Soria (D-Merced) and a joint author said: “I am proud to be a co-author on this important legislation that supports retired veterans and retains them in California.”

Ramos said the tax relief would help make California more veteran friendly. “Military retirees bring benefits to our state such as stability, job skills used in second careers, and federal funding. These men and women served our nation in a variety of valuable capacities, and they and their families have frequently done so at great personal sacrifice. California needs to more fully acknowledge the contributions they make.”

Jeffrey Breiten, retired Naval Officer and member of the California Council of Chapters of the Military Officers Association of America, endorsed the Ramos measure. “I want to thank Assemblymember James Ramos for his efforts. California is the only state in the nation that fails to provide an exemption on military retirement from state income taxes. California is home to the largest number of active-duty military personnel in the country, yet California’s military retiree population has realized a steady decline dating back to 2010. Military retirees contribute to the state's workforce development where they chose to retire. Our state loses out on millions of dollars in federal funds that follow military retirees after retirement.”

AB 46 is sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America and the California Council of Chapters Affiliated Military Officers Association of America. It is also supported by the San Diego Military Advisory Council, Orange Empire Military Officers Club, California Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, California State Commanders Veterans Council, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, and individual chapters of the military officers association.

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