Virginia should treat veterans better

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To the editor:

I am a resident of Virginia, and I also serve in the U.S. military. Every month I read about politicians upset about military bases or commands closing (such as U.S. Joint Forces Command or possible carriers moving to Florida).

I think these Virginia’s political representatives need to ask this question: “What is the state of Virginia doing to benefit its active-duty military and its retired veterans?”

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Recently I wrote a letter to my local representative in Suffolk about Virginia taxes on military retirement benefits, especially on Virginia-born residents who serve in the military for 20 years or more and have paid Virginia state taxes during those 20 years and also own a home and live in the state upon retirement.

Virginia loses a lot of its Virginia-born military members in the home-buying market to other states like Florida, because it benefits military members and their families to move away after their military careers come to an end.

If Virginia changed its policy on taxing military retirement, it could give a big boost to our economy, with more families purchasing their homes and keeping their money in the state and not changing their residence to states like North Carolina, Florida and Texas.

We should at least let try to keep our Virginia-born residents in the state.

Jeffrey Cook