States are competing for military retirees to come retire in their states.
They believe that attracting retired veterans will help boost their local economies as these citizens bring with them a strong work ethic, government pensions and VA medical benefits. Many of these retirees are still interested in working as the average age of a military retiree is just 45 years old.
Maryland is one of the states that is actively working to recruit retired veterans, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. Republican Governor Larry Hogan, has worked with the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature to double the military pension income tax exemption to $10,000. Hogan hopes to take these tax exemptions even further with the goal of completely exempting military pensions.
In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Governor Hogan referred to the pension tax exemptions as, ‘a token of our appreciation and respect.’
‘People who put their lives on the line every day kind of earned a tax break,’ said Hogan.
‘I think everyone deserves one at some point, but we’re starting with them.’
Florida has also made a strong effort to attract retired veterans. At a business conference, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said, ‘If you are processing out of the military and you want to build your business here in Florida, we’re going to waive the application fees on almost every occupational license that’s out there. It means if you’re applying for a concealed weapons license, you’re going to go to the front of the line and it’s going to be expedited in less than two weeks.’
Florida’s pro-veteran atmosphere has attracted Daryl Manning who served in the Army and Reserves and retired after 30 years of service. Manning considered a variety of options, but eventually decided to resettle in the Sunshine State.
‘Of course, the weather is beautiful. It’s also the military climate that’s here. Not only for active duty military but for retirees, the community is so welcoming that it was hard not to be a part of it,’ said Manning in an interview with the North County Public Radio.
One of the biggest benefits for retired veterans in Florida is that the state has no income tax, which means that there’s no tax on military pensions. Retirees can also benefit from the amenities that are offered at the state’s 20 military installations, which includes tax-free shopping, golf courses, and health clubs.
Maryland and Florida are two of many states that are crafting policies to appeal to retired members of the armed services.