For the past 3 years there have been concerted efforts to pass legislation to make South Carolina more tax friendly to retiring veterans. In 2014 the S.C. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill to exempt veteran pensions from state taxes. That bill never progressed in the Senate.
In 2015 the House once again unanimously approved the tax exemption bill, H.3147, and that bill carried over in the Senate this year. In 2016 the bill has fared better — to a point. The Bill was amended by the Senate Subcommittee and full Finance Committee twice, resulting in a version that provides less relief than was originally sought, but making a good first step to South Carolina income tax relief for our retired and future retiring veterans. As it now stands, those under 65 can deduct up to $17,500 against South Carolina earned income. For those over 65, they can deduct up to $30,000 against all income. The amended bill was first placed on the full Senate calendar on March 23rd.
That is the good news! The bad news is that it has come up for a vote FIFTEEN TIMES and each time it has been “carried over” on motion of one of several Senators. Most recently one Senator has now caused the Bill to be put on the “contested calendar”, “desiring that he be present” if it comes up for a vote.
The House of Representatives voted unanimously for pension relief for veterans twice — in 2014 and 2015. The 2015 bill carried over to the Senate in 2016. The Senate Finance Committee (consisting of 23 Senators — one half of 46 Senators) approved the amended Bill twice this year without objection.
We now have two weeks left in the Legislative Session — 6 legislative days.
We are down to one or two Senators making unspecified objections to block a vote by the full Senate.
The only place that help can come from at this point is the other 44 or 45 Senators to insist on a vote being allowed on H.3147 as amended.
Please reach out to your Senators to urge them to help our retired veterans by bringing H.3147 to a vote in the coming week — May 24, 25, and 26.
Please act now — communicate to any Senator you can reach out to. We need their help this coming week to allow this important veterans bill to be voted on.
OUR VETERANS, PRESENT AND FUTURE, DESERVE OUR SUPPORT AND THE SUPPORT OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE — THEY DESERVE TO HAVE H.3147 VOTED ON NEXT WEEK!!!!