SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), representing California’s 21st senate district, on Tuesday announced the introduction of Senate Bill 1071, bipartisan legislation that would exempt military retirement pay from the state income tax.
Senators Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) are principal authors of the measure.
“The 21st Senate District is blessed to have many veterans,” Wilk said in a statement about SB 1071. “Their skillsets, education and earning potential make them a great asset not only to the 21st Senate District, but also to all of California. We want to keep this talent here as well as show our respect for their service to our nation. Without some kind of incentive, California’s infamously high taxes and cost of living will continue to push the veteran community right out of state.”
Forty-three states provide partial or full exemptions for military retirees who establish residency in their state. California is one of seven states that fully taxes military retirement pay and the impact of this shows when looking at retirement rates.
The nation’s military retirement rate has increased a full 17 percent between the years 2000 and 2016, yet California’s military retirement population has declined by 17 percent during that same period.
California should be competing to keep this highly skilled workforce in the state. The vast majority of military retirees are in their mid-40s and assume new careers post-retirement in fields such as engineering, computer science, management, health care, communications and education.
“California’s military veterans deserve better from Sacramento than having their retirement pay that they worked so hard for to be taxed,” Bates said about SB 1071. “That is why I am proud to jointly co-author Senator Wilk’s common-sense measure to provide tax relief to our veterans. It will help keep more veterans in California by giving them an incentive to pursue a second career here, instead of in other states.”
“For a state that boasts about leading the nation, California is decades behind the rest of the country in encouraging our nation’s heroes to remain in California and continue contributing to our economic success,” Wilk said. “Making things a bit more retirement friendly is a step in the right direction.”
Wilk represents the 21st Senate District which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Victor Valleys.