“I”m pleased the legislature approved it,” Branstad says. “Home Base Iowa was our top priority this session and I will sign it.”
The bill eliminates state income taxes on military pensions for soldiers and their surviving spouses. It also makes it easier for soldiers to earn academic credit for their military training and experience, if they decide to seek a degree at an Iowa college or university. In addition, state boards will now be required to take into account a soldier’s military skills when the soldier applies for a professional license. The Congressional Research Office says the average age of a soldier who retires from the military is between 40 and 45, which means they start a second career.
“There’s a major reduction going on in our military and there’s a lot of talented leaders with technical skills that we want to attract to Iowa,” Branstad says.
Branstad will sign a second bill that extends a homestead tax credit for disabled veterans.
“I think it’s going to be a big step forward for our state,” Branstad says. “…I want to make sure that Iowa’s one of the leaders in providing services and opportunities for veterans.”
Last week a social networking site that focused on personal finance ranked Iowa as the 13th best state for military veterans to retire.
“Once this legislation is passed I think we’re going to be able to make significant progress. You know many states don’t tax military veterans’ benefits and now we’re going to join their ranks,” Branstad says. “We also are going to be offering in-state tuition to veterans, their spouses and dependents. We also already have this $5,000 tax credit for veterans that purchase homes in our state.”
Branstad served as a military policeman during the Vietnam Era and he plans to wear his Army uniform for today’s bill signing ceremony. It’s scheduled to begin shortly after 8:30 this morning in the Iowa Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston.