Governor LePage, Maine Legislature Work to Establish Tax-Free Military Pensions
Governor Paul R. LePage and a large number of Maine veterans met with press in the governor’s Cabinet Room this past Tuesday to discuss elimination the tax on military pensions, as part of the administration’s FY 2016-17 biennial budget proposal.
If the 127th Legislature passes the measure, Maine will join 22 other states that have already passed similar exemptions for veterans.
According to the governor, about 8,000 Maine veterans would benefit from the exemption. He further added that young military retirees would be encouraged to to come to Maine to begin second careers and that the state’s economy would benefit as retired military members have much to give back to the community when they leave the service.
The following day, the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation unanimously threw their support behind a similar bill to provide an income tax exemption for pension benefits received under a military retirement plan, including survivor benefits. LD 280 “An Act To Exempt Military Pensions and Survivor Benefits from Maine Income Tax” is sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Ginzler (R-Bridgton), who spoke to her bill’s purpose before the committee.
Many veterans spoke in favor of the bill and no one in opposition. As there is overlap between LD 280 and the governor’s budget, it is expected that Taxation will table the bill until it is determined whether or not that portion will pass the Legislature via LR 1852 (the budget). If that does indeed come to pass, Ginzler’s bill will be a duplication and most likely be killed in committee. Taxation Committee members have already expressed a willingness to advance LD 280 as a stand alone measure, if needed.