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Tax exemption for military retirees wins initial approval

January 13, 2020 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Military retirees in Nebraska will get to keep more of their retirement benefits under a bill that won first-round approval from lawmakers on Monday.

The bill would exempt half of a military retiree’s benefit from Nebraska state taxes, a key priority for Gov. Pete Ricketts. The measure advanced, 46-0, through the first of three required votes.

Sen. Tom Brewer, who sponsored the bill, said the measure would help Nebraska attract and retain military service members after they retire. Several neighboring states, including Iowa and Missouri, don’t impose any tax on military retirement benefits and both states have managed to entice retirees from Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base.

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Brewer, a U.S. Army veteran from Gordon, introduced the bill last year but lawmakers ran out of time before they were able to debate it in 2019.

The bill would cost the state an estimated $12.6 million in lost revenue by fiscal year 2022, according to the Legislative Fiscal Office.