CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice today announced that he wants to support West Virginia veterans by giving a full exemption for military retirement from the state income tax.

An announcement from the Justice administration said the governor sees this move as a way to support West Virginia’s veteran population and to attract veterans to move to West Virginia.

“We need to pro-actively reward our vets,” Justice said this morning on “Talkline” with Hoppy Kercheval. “They’ve given us our freedom in every way.”

A bill in the House of Delegates, sponsored by Delegates Pat McGeehan, a Republican, and Mike Pushkin, a Democrat, would exempt military retirement from personal income taxation in West Virginia. Their bill went to the Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee on Feb. 8, but no action has been taken.

Justice supported the idea during his campaign and is asking the Legislature to pass a bill to exempt military retirement from the state’s income tax. The measure would amount to a $3.1 million tax break for military families, according to the Justice administration.

The governor said doing so would be possible because of the governor’s proposed revenue enhancements.

“It’s almost a nothing give,” Justice said on Talkline.

Justice said doing away with the income tax on veterans’ retirement would make living in West Virginia even more attractive to those who enjoy the state’s outdoors and its other attributes.

“We owe everything to our veterans because their sacrifice and service have made the United States the greatest country on earth,” Justice stated in a news release put out by his administration.

“I fully support giving our veterans a tax break on military retirement. It will go a long way toward helping military families that are struggling to get by. I hope it will incentivize veterans who are native West Virginians to return home and attract veterans from all over the country to move here.”

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