If only Virginia were more like California…

https://www.wtkr.com/news/national/california-bill-would-exempt-military-retirement-pay-from-state-income-tax

I would definitely be OK with this. I wonder how the rest of the Forum Round Table feels.

16 thoughts on “If only Virginia were more like California…

  1. It is a very bad idea to exempt any class of people from any kind of tax.

    As soon as you do, you have a constituency for runaway spending on whatever the tax pays for.

    No one should be exempted from having ‘skin in the game.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Virginia exempts 100% disabled veterans from paying property taxes on their homes. That was a change back in 2011. It has not had a known negative effect on revenues. Should that amendment be repealed?

      During my 24 year plus military career, I remained a resident of Pennsylvania for one reason and one reason only. They did not tax income of military members UNLESS they were serving within the borders of the Commonwealth. (If that had changed during my time, I would have shifted my residence to Florida, using my grandparents address as my home of record.)

      The sacrifices of all members of the military, particularly those of us who served for 20 years or more, is worthy of considering the tax break. Other states don’t tax retired military pay. And most of us don’t just sit back on our haunches after retirement. We work and pay taxes on THAT income.

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      1. It is not a question of who needs or deserves a tax break, it is the adverse incentive toward runaway spending created by exempting subsets of the population from the tax.

        We already have too many people exempt from taxes based on income level. thus we have a constituency for a $20Trillion national debt.

        The only way to control government spending is for it to cost everyone proportionately.

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  2. If they give you a break then some Bozo will reduce the age deduction to pay for it. I like Pennsylvania’s approach. They withhold 3% on everything. The tax return is a opportunity to report additional income. It’s something like 4 lines.

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  3. Taxes should not be treated as a reward or punishment. They are a civic duty to support the nation and ensure the benefits of living here.

    That being said, under our current system, tax breaks for certain investments that may help our nation and encourage innovation are not necessarily bad.

    But tax breaks for certain groups are not in that category. That includes tax exemptions for religious institutions. These are really subsidies for just being here.

    If tax breaks for military retirees are good, then perhaps increasing the pay or pension would be a more equitable way.

    Of course our tax system is way too complicated. The tax reform act did not do squat to reform anything.

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    1. …increasing the pay or pension would be a more equitable way.” But Trump gave active duty military the BIGGEST BESTEST pay increase in the history of mankind. Just ask him.

      AN even better thing, at the federal level, would be to not withhold federal taxes (Not SS/Medicare because they are not withheld) from retired pay.

      Of course, I am biased about retired pay as I do receive it and would much rather NOT have ANY taxes withheld. I would not mind a slightly higher premium on TRICARE insurance.

      The rules on the computation of retired pay have changed over the years. Because of when I enlisted, I fell under the 50% (plus 2.5% per year over 20) of the AVERAGE final three years of active duty pay system. I’m not even sure how it is computed now. But the idea of my retired pay not being taxed by the state of feds sure would be nice.

      “The tax reform act did not do squat to reform anything.”
      Had to call it Reform Act because they couldn’t sell “Tax Cut for Corporations and the Super Wealthy Act”.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “That includes tax exemptions for religious institutions.”

      Religious institutions get tax exemptions because they are non-profits. There being no profit, what is there to tax? More importantly, if non-profits are able to avoid taxes, why should religious institutions be unable to?

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    1. I joined the Navy in 1984 because of 2 reasons. I squandered my college career through immaturity and bad choices. And the job market in NWPA was fast food, retail, and waiting to get a job at the GE Locomotive plant.

      My loyalty was always to myself and my family. Nothing was bought. Nothing was even offered. I did what I felt was best for me and family for 24 plus years. I am slightly offended by your characterization.

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      1. Wait. You just said that you saw it as your best choice. And because it was your best choice, I should pick up the slack and give you a retirement pay tax break?

        Why military retirement?

        Why not Bureau of Prisons? Why not CIA? Why not DoJ? Why just military? Do they really sacrifice/risk more than an FBI or ATF agent? Or, a Border guard or Customs agent? Do they really make less than any of them? How about the NOAA Corps? They’re a pretty ratty looking crowd.

        It will be tough to avoid tangential screes from the 2nd Amendment crowd, and the Right in general, but I stand foursquare with our founders on this one — they saw a military as a bit of an anathema to the society they had in mind, and there’s enough of their original writings on the subject to keep one busy for awhile too. ”

        Misadventures” was their polite word for the problem. They really loathed the idea of having a standing army, so much so that they tried like Hell to avoid it with the 2nd Amendment, and by strangling the baby, i.e., “… but no Appropriation of Money to that Use (an army) shall be for a longer Term than two Years,” and doing so created one of our big issues today — civilian-owned assault weapons for one.

        Thanks guys. It was a nice thought, but an unsustainable solution. Nonetheless, the problem they saw with a standing army didn’t go away; their solution to it just failed. And, right after WWII, we stumbled right into those problems (unlike WWI, we didn’t “disband”, we built up).

        Fifty years of war, the Military-Industrial complex, and… and this is the kicker… a large subclass of our culture with their own set of laws, their own courts, their own cops, and their own economy (from recreation, housing, K-12, off-base discounts, etc., etc. to a medical system). Shit, worse than that “political clout”! Even in our own Congressional District, the last two candidates ran on what? Their military records! “I was a SEAL!” and “I commanded a ship!” Great.

        BTW, this “military class” and its effect on society is one of the problems our forefathers cite in their writings.

        Thank you for your service, but I want as few career military as we can possibly have.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I see your point. But I disagree with the military being classified as “social engineering”. A lot of positives have come from our military, and not just from a national defense posture.

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me (us).

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          1. Our tax system is “when money changes hands, it gets taxed.” There are differences between earned and unearned, but they don’t consider whose hands are involved.

            Well, the military has been advertised as a way to obtain an education (college or just training), and it has lifted many from poverty to middle class, so it does social engineering. I cannot deny that it has been a force for upward transformation. Of course, now the military is getting picky about who can join (“75% of American’s youth is unfit” — their words, not mine, but then “you go to war with the Army you have” — also their words not mine, so…).

            I’ve lost the battle, not that it could be won because the military owns DC, not the other way around; there’s too much riding on US militarism for our economy to pull it back, and even if a politician tried, he’d not get far. Look at what happened to Bush41 AND Clinton when they did. Of course, Clinton took the biggest hit (surprise, surprise) but Bush41 (with some guy named Cheney as SecDef did the deeper cuts) didn’t completely escape criticism. Who can forget the world of shit, Carter took for trying to kill the B1, a complete waste of money and OBE in design? One can still argue that the B1B and B2 would have been cannon fodder against even Iran’s AA in the early 1990s.

            History is replete with the fates of empires (impossible without a military) and the ends of militaristic countries has been the same every time. In “The Third Man”, the Orson Wells character derides Switzerland’s 500 years of peace and prosperity with “and all they have to show are cuckoo clocks and chocolate”, but it’s still about 470 years more peace than we’ve ever known. I’ll bet a $1 to a dime that they’ll have another 500 years long after we’ve gone — assuming someone is left after we fall.

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