DARIEN, Conn. – State Sens. Bob Duff and Carlo Leone gathered with veterans in Darien on Wednesday to announce their support for a bill that would provide a large tax break for retired veterans.
The law in Connecticut currently provides a 50 percent exemption from state income taxes for military retirement pay. Under the new law, that exemption would be increased to 100 percent.
Duff (D-Darien, Norwalk) and Leone (D-Darien, Stamford) said that an estimated 1 million veterans are slated to leave active service by 2020, and that many of the surrounding states, including New York and Massachusetts, currently provide 100 percent exemption. They said that it is crucial to keep veterans from leaving Connecticut.
“This is bill is very important for us, and we’re doing this in the context of a very difficult budget year where there are very difficult choices to be made,” said Duff, the Senate majority leader, during an announcement at the Darien VFW.
“It’s extremely important for us to come out here and stand with veterans, to stand with our community and to make the statement that we know that veterans have sacrificed for us, that they have given a lot to our state and our nation, and especially as so many are going to retire very soon, we need to make that show of support and solidarity.”
Duff said that if the bill were to pass, it would cost the state an estimated $4 million a year in revenue. But he and Leone emphasized that it is important to support veterans and make sure they stay in the state.
“We want to keep our military men and women here in Connecticut. These are folks who have served their country for a long period of time, they come back to their home, to their families, and they’re productive members of the community,” said Leone, who is himself a veteran. “We don’t want to lose our future leaders who give so much back to the community.”
Duff and Leone said that the bill has strong support in the Senate’s Democratic caucus, and they are hopeful that it will pass. The bill would go into effect immediately. They said that there is another bill in the state House of Representatives which would achieve the same effect, though it would be incremental. That bill would see veterans receive 100 percent exemptions on their income taxes by 2020.
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