Under current proposal, exemption would sunset in 2031

SANTA FE — Senator Bill Burt (R-Alamogordo) today urged the Legislature to make the tax exemption on military retirement pay permanent in the omnibus tax bill, House Bill 547. During the Senate debate on House Bill 547, Senator Burt introduced an amendment to remove the sunset date on the exemption, which would expire in 2031 under the current proposal. The amendment was defeated when all but one Democrat voted against the measure.

“We need to make this benefit permanent and send a message to our veteran retirees that we want them to make New Mexico their permanent home,” said Senator Burt. “My colleagues frequently tout their support for veterans, but when given the opportunity to extend this important tax exemption, they stood in opposition.”

This afternoon, the House of Representatives refused to concur with the Senate amendments to House Bill 547. If the Senate refuses to recede from the amendments, a conference committee of Senators and Representatives will be appointed to negotiate a compromise.

“We still have time to make this happen and I urge my colleagues to prioritize this effort in the closing hours of the session,” added Senator Burt. “The revenue cost is nothing compared to the cost of losing these valued veterans to our neighboring states.”

According to recent statistics, the average age of military retirees is 42-46, many of whom move on to second careers. New Mexico has historically struggled to retain these retirees, and up until last year, was one of just 12 states that did not offer a tax break on their military retirement pay.

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