Wilk announces bill aiming to exempt military retirement pay from state income tax

State Senator Scott Wilk speaks at the Child & Family Center board installation at Sand Canyon Country Club Thursday evening. Cory Rubin/The Signal

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Tuesday a bill that could change the way military retirement pay is taxed. 

Senate Bill 1071, which Wilk jointly authored with Sens. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, and Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, would exempt military retirement pay from the state income tax. 

“The 21st Senate District is blessed to have many veterans. Their skill sets, education and earning potential make them a great asset to not only the 21st Senate District but to all of California. We want to keep this talent here as well as show our respect for their service to our nation,” said Wilk in a statement. “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.”

California is one of seven states, including New Mexico, North Dakota and Virginia, that provide no exemption for military retirees and the remaining states offer partial or full exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

“California’s military veterans deserve better from Sacramento than having their retirement pay that they worked so hard for to be taxed. That is why I am proud to jointly co-author Sen. 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,” said Bates in a statement. 

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