A House bill seeks to give veterans a tax credit so they don’t pay on their retirement benefits.
A bill sponsored by Representative Will Kraus of Raytown would give veterans a tax credit to equal to 100 percent of their military retirement.
Representative Kraus says other states don’t tax military retirees on their benefits and therefore, we’re losing residents.
Veterans and veterans organizations spoke in favor of the bill, saying keeping younger military retirees and their families in Missouri would result in gaining five times the return on paying the tax credit. He says many of them would continue to work and pay taxes on their civilian jobs, as well as send their children to school here.
Currently the state does not offer military retirees a tax credit on benefits until they’re 62 years old.
Rich Heigert, legislative chairman of Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations, says this will keep military retirees under the age of 62 — the ones still being taxed — in the state of Missouri.
Neighboring states Kansas, Kentucky and Illinois, as well as other states known for being retirement meccas already have the tax credit in place. Other retirement meccas — such as Texas and Florida — also do not tax veterans, of any age, on retirement benefits.
Robert Gibson, a former Iraq veteran, says he went to Iraq with 26 years military service and knows what it’s like for a soldier to return and be told he can’t be put on military medical retirement. He’s 48 and says he has a six-year-old son to support and needs 100 percent of his benefits now, not when he’s 62.
No one spoke in opposition to the measure at the public hearing this week at the Capitol.