Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. --
The South Carolina State Senate passed a bill that exempts military retirement pay from state income taxes Jan. 26. This bill allows local veterans to receive the full benefit of their retirement.
The income tax exemption is the top priority in the senate, according to the annual State of the Bases briefing sponsored last week by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Beaufort County is known for its military community both active duty and retirees. The area is home to three military installations and a long history of supporting its veterans.
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, and Naval Hospital Beaufort contribute more than $1.5 billion into the local and statewide economy.
With almost 60,000 military retirees in South Carolina, the change will cost the state $30 million in lost revenue when completely phased in after three years. However a Clemson University study shows that other expenditures by an increased population of military retirees would make up for that loss within 10 years. Military retirees have an annual statewide economic impact of $1.1 billion.
This is not the first piece of recent legislation passed in South Carolina that supports the military. In 2015 the state senate passed seven bills that support active duty service members and veterans. They included extending the property tax exemption on the vehicles of disabled veterans to their surviving spouses and changing in-state college tuition to service members who end their service in South Carolina.
The retirees living in Beaufort bring reinforce the local work force as they move into civilian jobs. Aside from their monetary contributions their sacrifice to our nation cannot be overlooked.
This bill is just one of many ways the State of South Carolina gives back to the veterans in Beaufort County.