State Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) participated in a roundtable discussion at Warner Robins last week with Gov. Brian Kemp as they announced the introduction of a bill that would eliminate the tax on state income for military retirees in Georgia.
“This is quite possibly the biggest military news to come in many years here in Georgia,” Williams said. “This will literally affect thousands of retired veterans. We have 700,000 retired veterans here in Georgia.
Williams said several neighboring states already provide this tax relief, and implementing the new law will make it easier for veterans to stay in Georgia when they retire.
Williams said the bill is on track to pass, and he said he hopes it will be signed into law and into effect by July this year.
Williams, who is a Vietnam veteran, said the law will mean people will have more money on hand and will likely spend that money locally as more opportunities and jobs arise in the state.
“We’ve been working on this bill for several years now,” Williams said, adding that veterans he’s spoken to are thrilled with the measure. “The money this will put in the pockets of retirees who have defended this country, have given their all for this country…and I think that’s just a small thank you for their service.”
Kemp first announced the proposed bill Jan. 12 at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eggs and Issues legislative preview event.
The governor announced his administration’s plans to provide a $1.6 billion tax refund to all Georgia taxpayers, introduce legislation to exempt retirement income for veterans residing in the Peach State and ensure at least 90% of the tuition fees for HOPE Scholars at all public post-secondary institutions. educational institutions is covered by the scholarship program.
In fulfilling his pledge to exempt military retirement income from state income tax, Kemp said, “These men and women deserve more than our words of appreciation, even though we have much to to give. They deserve an action that shows our gratitude. One of the key points of my platform has been to enact a retirement income exclusion for retired military personnel. And thanks to the hard work of leaders under the Gold Dome over the past few years — work that has positioned our state to invest in our citizens — I am proud to announce that my team will introduce legislation this session to make this tax exclusion a reality for the retired Georgian army.
Regarding his administration’s plan to provide a refund of $250 to single filers and $500 to those filing jointly, Kemp said, “At the state level, this success has translated into record revenues, and as governor, I think we should continue to fund our priorities as a state – education, health care and public safety… but also be good stewards of taxpayers’ money. that we kept Georgia open and that we fought alongside all of you in this room to keep businesses and communities afloat, the state collected a record budget surplus.
“I believe that when the government receives more money than it needs, the excess funds should be returned to the hard-working men and women who keep our state going because it’s your money, not that of the government. That’s why my FY22 amended budget proposal authorizes the Department of Revenue to refund $1.6 billion to every Georgia taxpayer. Under my plan, every citizen filing their income taxes in April will receive a refund credit ranging from $250 for single filers to $500 for joint filers. As Georgians seek to recover from the economic impact of a global pandemic, we as heads of state must do all we can to empower families to retain more of their money in their own wallet.