Ricketts signs military retirement pay tax relief legistation
Governor Pete Ricketts held a ceremonial bill signing at American Legion Post 52 in Kearney on Aug. 24 to celebrate LB 153 becoming law. LB 153 exempts 50 percent of military retirement pay from Nebraska income tax. Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon introduced LB 153 at the request of Gov. Ricketts, and Senator John Lowe of Kearney prioritized the bill.
“Nebraska has been at a major competitive disadvantage compared to our neighboring states, all of which offer tax relief on military retirement pay,” said Gov. Ricketts. “We want to keep Nebraska’s veterans here and welcome veterans from across the country to the Good Life. LB 153 moves us closer to our goal of becoming the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.”
Previously, military retirees in Nebraska could choose to exclude either 40 percent of their military retirement pay for seven consecutive taxable years upon retiring or 15 percent for all taxable years beginning with the year in which he or she turned 67.
“I'm very happy we were able to get LB 153 to the Governor's desk,” said Senator Brewer. “Countless people and veteran groups in Nebraska have worked on this for over thirty years. I want to thank Sen. John Lowe in particular because he used his senator priority for this bill. I also want to thank my fellow senators who didn’t cast a single ‘no’ vote against this bill throughout all three rounds of debate. I am thrilled to see this kind of support for the military in the legislature. I also want to thank the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs for all of their help and coaching. Exempting 50 percent of military retired pay from Nebraska income taxes makes us more competitive with our neighboring states, and helps us attract retiring veterans to come to or stay in Nebraska. This is a great day for Nebraska veterans!”
The Commission on Military and Veteran Affairs recommended the State of Nebraska “provide tax relief to retired military personnel to encourage military retirees to live and work in Nebraska” in its past three reports.
“A tax break for our state’s military retirees has been talked about in one form or another for years,” said Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director John Hilgert, who currently serves as the chair of the Commission on Military and Veteran Affairs. “Today is an exciting step forward for our state, our military retirees, and their families. As of today Nebraska is more appealing, more competitive, and more veteran-friendly.”
Over the past few years, Governor Ricketts has worked with the Legislature and veterans’ groups to support Nebraska’s military families and veterans.
Below are a few examples of how Governor Ricketts is making Nebraska a more veteran-friendly state:
Signed Rule 21, allowing military spouses to receive a three-year teaching permit in Nebraska with a valid out-of-state license.
Expanded the hiring preference for the State of Nebraska to include spouses of service members.
Signed LB 340 to make the Department of Veterans’ Affairs a one-stop shop for both veterans’ benefits and veterans’ homes.
Created five additional Military Honor License Plates to recognize the service of members of the reserves of the armed forces.
Provided reciprocity for military spouses all over the country by updating language for adoption of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to have one multi-state license.
Signed LB 12e which allows active duty military members or their spouses to be licensed realtors in Nebraska without paying a licensing fee as long as they have a valid realtor’s license in another state.
Signed LB 115 which allows military families reassigned to Nebraska to preliminarily enroll in a school district.