Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp is fighting to cut taxes and expand opportunity for veterans throughout his state. Yesterday, Kemp unveiled a new proposal to eliminate the state income tax on retirement pay for military veterans and to expand career training to help them start their next careers. With his firm commitment to making Georgia the best place for veterans to live and work, Kemp is making it clear that he will be a bold advocate for them as governor.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
“Republican Brian Kemp rolled out a proposal Wednesday to eliminate the state income tax on retirement pay for military veterans and expand a network of career training centers to 22 tech college campuses across the state.
The secretary of state’s initiative, which he said would cost roughly $60 million, comes as he’s trying to appeal to a broader audience in his bid for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams…
The military initiative was another attempt in that direction. Surrounded by supporters at his campaign office, Kemp said he’s tired of hearing stories about retiring veterans bolting for neighboring states because of more generous tax benefits. Many of those veterans, he added, are likely to start second careers that can help replenish the state’s coffers.
‘This is doable. We can find that money through efficiencies in the budget,’ Kemp said. ‘You’ve got to ask the question: ‘What do we lose by not doing this?’ Everywhere we go, we’re hearing that there aren’t enough good qualified workers.’…
The Republican’s tax-cut plan echoes a similar proposal outlined by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle during the runoff, and Kemp said it was sharpened by a coalition of veterans who serve as informal advisers.
Among them is state Rep. Dave Belton, a veteran U.S. Navy aviator and chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee. He said state legislators have long mulled a similar proposal, and he predicted that the additional tax revenue they generate will offset the cost of the tax cuts.
‘We’re tired of seeing veterans leave to South Carolina or Tennessee or Florida,’ he said. ‘Many of them have second careers, and it’s time to do something to keep them here.’”