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Gazelka, Kresha offer military pension tax exemption

Gazelka, Kresha seek military pension tax exemption

State Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Cass County, and Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, will work together on legislation that would exempt military pension recipients from that portion of their income taxes.

The bill was introduced Monday in the Senate by Gazelka — his first bill in the 88th Legislative Session.

Senate File 32 is a bill to exempt military pension recipients from income taxes. The bill is expected to be heard next week in the Senate Tax Reform Division, a committee on which Sen. Gazelka serves.

Kresha, in his first term, will sign on to an existing bill in the House. The House District 9B representative said the bill would ensure that Minnesota continues to be a veteran-friendly retirement state.

Gazelka and Kresha said they had not yet seen financial statements that would indicate how much the exemption might cost the state.

“Military folks can retire wherever they want and they do evaluate whether it makes sense to retire somewhere else,” Gazelka said.

In a news release issued by Gazelka, he said SF 32 has gained bipartisan support and is expected to reach the Senate floor for a full vote.

“Military service members are a distinct asset to our community and deserving of this legislation,” Gazelka said in the statement. “The time has come to move this legislation forward on behalf of retired veterans across Minnesota. It is a good bill, it helps our veterans and it will help to keep Minnesota’s economy competitive by attracting more retirees to move in or stay in Minnesota.”

With the passage of this legislation, Minnesota could join 31 other states offering tax exemptions for all or part of residents’ military retired pay from state income taxes, according to Gazelka’s statement.

“Our military is an all-volunteer force,” Gazelka said in the statement. “If we wish to maintain this volunteer force we must care for those Americans who choose to sacrifice and risk their lives to protect what we hold dear.”

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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