Henry McMaster Proposes Tax Cut For Veterans, Law Enforcement Retirees

A good idea, but still “gimmick relief” that falls short of substantive, stimulative tax cuts …

South Carolina governor Henry McMaster wants to permanently exempt military veterans and retired law enforcement officers/ first responders from having to pay state income tax on their retirement income.

The proposal – which would provide an estimated $22 million of tax relief a year – would apply to state and federal law enforcement, firefighters, and peace officers.

“There’s no way we will ever be able to repay these men and women in uniform for the true value they add to our state and our community, but this is one example of how we can show our gratitude and appreciation for their service,” McMaster said in a statement. “This income tax exemption on retirement pay will reaffirm the unwavering commitment of South Carolinians to these people who have chosen to serve.”

Do we support such a proposal?  Of course.  Who wouldn’t?

We’ve consistently argued that law enforcement personnel should be better compensated for the work they do, and while this wouldn’t help them during their years on the job it would make their retirement a bit easier.  Also, as we’ve repeatedly pointed out any time money is allowed to remain in the economy (and kept out of the grubby paws of an unaccountable, ineffective state government) – we’re for it.

But this proposal – like the state’s annual “sales tax holiday” – is gimmick relief, not real relief.  It’s not going to do anything to stimulate the state’s broader consumer economy, and as a result it will do nothing to raise income levels in our state or create new jobs.

In fact if this is the extent of McMaster’s tax reform plans, he’s left a gaping void on his right flank for the GOP candidates running against him in June …



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