Supporting our veterans
Last updated 11/18/2021 at 12:32pm
Assemblymember Marie Waldron
Last Thursday was Veterans Day, or Armistice Day to an older generation, originally commemorating the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when the guns fell silent in World War I. It’s a day we set aside to honor our veterans, with speeches and parades. But we need to do more.
Going forward, we should provide tangible support for veterans and their families, and a big step here in California would be to stop taxing veterans’ retirement pay. California is one of just three states, plus the District of Columbia, that fully tax veterans’ retirement pay. Why do we do this? Do we really need this revenue? Apparently, most of the rest of the nation gets along just fine without it.
Last year, Senate Bill 1071 would have repealed the tax on veterans’ retirement pay. Unfortunately, the session was shortened due to the pandemic and the bill never came up for a vote. Over the years and for various reasons, previous attempts to repeal the tax have also failed.
This Veterans Day there were ceremonies and commemorations throughout the region, and our office was very proud to take part in the annual ceremonies in Escondido, Fallbrook, Temecula and San Diego. But Veterans Day shouldn’t just be a day to celebrate, it should be a day that we resolve to show veterans the same commitment they have always shown to the rest of us.
Our veterans have never failed us, and we should not fail them. The men and women who have worn the uniform, often at great risk and sacrifice, as well as their families who have shared in that sacrifice, deserve more than just our gratitude.
Eliminating this unnecessary tax burden would be a big step forward for California’s veterans, and it’s one we should take.