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Politics

Local State Senator Calls For Tax Breaks For Retired Service Members

State Senator Ben Hueso introducing a bill on Feb. 14, 2020, that would  make military retirement pay tax-exempt in California.
Andi Dukleth
State Senator Ben Hueso introducing a bill on Feb. 14, 2020, that would make military retirement pay tax-exempt in California.

State Senator Ben Hueso on Friday introduced legislation to provide a state tax exemption for military retirement pay within the state.

The Democrat represents California's 40th district, which includes Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach and parts of the city of San Diego.

He announced the proposal at the American Legion Post #310 in Chollas View, with a coalition of military and veteran groups including the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) and the San Diego Veterans Coalition (SDVC).

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"California is one of nine states who taxes the income of our veterans, and I think that sends a very bad message across the country that California is not behind our veterans," Hueso said.

Hueso said thousands of veterans are leaving California because of the cost of living. His office said between 2000 and 2016, about 800,000 veterans left the state.

Hueso said more than 100,000 veterans would benefit from the proposal. He was not able to say how much, on average, veterans would save, but said that would depend on a variety of factors, including time of service.