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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Bill to make military pensions tax-exempt in PR clears Legislature

Rep. Joel Sánchez Ayala

By The Star Staff

The Senate late Monday approved House Bill 1747, authored by District 20 Rep. Joel Sánchez Ayala, which proposes an exemption from state income related to a military pension for all veterans and retired military personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces residing in Puerto Rico.

“We have an immense commitment to improving the quality of life for veterans and military retirees in Puerto Rico by offering a significant tax exemption and creating a more favorable environment for them,” said Sánchez Ayala, who chairs the Federal, International, Status and Veteran Relations Committee of the House of Representatives. “We are pleased with the approval of this measure in the Senate.”

The proposal, which now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature, is consistent with the economic plan for a well-structured tax system, aimed at encouraging and/or stimulating the permanence of veterans and retired military personnel, and in turn granting greater benefits for those who wish to return or choose Puerto Rico as their permanent residence, the lawmaker noted. Currently, 26 states do not impose taxes on military retirement income, so it was proposed that Puerto Rico follow suit, thereby fostering local economic development and retaining these valuable citizens of the island.

“This initiative not only recognizes the service and sacrifice of our veterans and military retirees, but also represents an economic development strategy for Puerto Rico,” Sánchez Ayala said. “We want our heroes to consider Puerto Rico as their forever home.”

For its part, the Financial Oversight and Management Board announced that it is willing to favor this type of measure. The bill had the recommendations and support of the Veteran’s Advocate, various veterans’ organizations such as the American Legion, and veteran members of the 65th Infantry Regiment, among others.

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