State senator proposes hefty tax break for veterans again

By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times

Arizona Sen. Gail Griffin is again trying to boost a tax break for some Arizona veterans.

Griffin’s proposal roughly a year ago would have increased a state income tax exemption for military retirement pay from $2,500 to $10,000 by 2019. The idea had the support of Gov. Doug Ducey, who noted in his state of the state address in January 2018 that the tax exemption had never been increased since it was created nearly 30 years ago.

“Their service has earned them a lifetime benefit from our nation,” Ducey said at the time. “So please, send me a bill that increases the exemption and demonstrates to our vets that we value this service.”

But the plan was scuttled amid budget negotiations, as Ducey and legislative Republicans scrambled to find sufficient funds to pay for the governor’s plan to boost teacher pay by 20 percent.

Instead, approximately 52,000 veterans got a $1,000 increase in the tax exemption, up to $3,500 annually.

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