2 Arizona Bills Would Give Tax Break To Veterans

Published: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 8:59am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and most Republicans are supporting two separate bills — one in the House and the other in the Senate — that would give Arizona military veterans a break on their state taxes.

Both plans bump the current amount a veteran’s military pension is exempt from state taxation from $2,500 to $10,000. The measures have support from most House and Senate Republicans.

However, Tucson's Democratic Sen. Steve Farley warned lawmakers the tax break helps a relatively small number of Arizona veterans. 

Besides, Farley said, the bill helps a limited number of veterans, at a time when Arizona can scarcely afford losing $15 million in tax revenues.

"The only 50,000 of those who have military pensions in Arizona are the ones who will get an average of $280 a year, while the more than half a million who don't, will only see further cuts to their neighborhood public schools they depend on to give their kids a good education," Farley said.

Lake Havasu City Sen. Sonny Borrelli, retired Marine, was insulted and reminded lawmakers his fellow veterans are all tax payers. 

Not all Republicans support the plan. Looking only at the numbers, Gilbert Republican Sen. Warren Petersen stated tax breaks for any single group interferes with the state goal of reducing the overall income tax rate.

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