MONTPELIER – Governor Phil Scott urged Vermont lawmakers to consider eliminating the tax on military retirement pay Tuesday, pointing out that Vermont is one of just seven states that taxes military pensions.
“It’s the right thing to do on a number of different levels,” Governor Scott said. “Just from a sense of those who serve our country, willing to go into battle, run towards danger instead of running away from it trying to protect our freedom, democracy, and way of life, so I think on that level alone, it’s enough to do something.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray. The two state leaders released a rare joint statement on Monday outlining how the tax affects Vermont’s workforce and the overall wellness of servicemembers.
“In conversations with servicemembers, particularly those who proudly serve in the Vermont National Guard, we often hear that the tax on military retirement pay is a significant barrier to remaining and retiring in Vermont,” the statement reads. “With the exception of time spent serving overseas, many have lived here their whole lives – like the two of us, they love our state and want to stay. They tell us that eliminating this tax, as all our border states have done, would make Vermont a more competitive option, meaning we could keep these valued members of our communities here. Let’s listen to them.”
Scott said he’s been advocating for the elimination of the military pension tax for four years, and was skeptical about the likelihood of the Legislature heeding the call to action.