Arizona House: No unlimited tax breaks for military retirees

Elizabeth Howe
March 13, 2019 - 8:51 am
A retired senior adult male

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

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A bill that would raise the cap on tax exemptions for military retirees died in the Arizona House this week. 

Currently, the state offers a capped exemption, with veterans exempt from paying up to $3,500 in taxes. House Bill 2011, sponsored by Rep. Gail Griffin (R), wanted to keep the cap but raise the exemption to $10,000, claiming it would allow more financial breathing room for certain veterans, but not break Arizona's bank on retired officers who can receive pensions as high as $40,000. 

The Arizona House killed that bill — largely over its price tag.

Griffin's exemption would come with about a $2 million price tag for Arizona's economy— a burden other lawmakers argued no veteran would place on a fellow citizen. 

“No veteran I know of thinks the rest of us should carry a special burden because of their service,” Rep. John Allen (R) said. “They served because they believe in this country and what they did.”

A similar bill in the Senate, proposed by Sen. David Gowan (R), hopes to remove that cap altogether — despite skepticism from other lawmakers regarding how that would negatively impact Arizona's economy.

RELATED: Bill to exempt Arizona veterans from taxes on pension moves forward — for now

Gowan's Senate Bill 1157, which cleared a Senate panel vote last week, is still awaiting its full Senate vote.

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