Video: Veterans Voice Support
A week ago, more than one hundred veterans gathered outside the Maryland State House to rally support for legislation that would exempt military retirement benefits from the state income tax. The governor, lieutenant governor and both leaders of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly addressed the crowd and promised to deliver for the more than 42,000 retired military personnel in the state, who are a powerful voting constituency in an election year.
Sen. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel), who wore two purple heart medals on his blazer for the occasion, has been working to pass such legislation for five years.
"The military is going to ask you to go out and put your life on the line,"
he testified at a hearing before the rally. "This is a very small thing we can do."
Astle's bill and a similar measure sponsored by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) would phase-out the state income tax on military retirement benefits and cost the state more than $45 million by the time it is fully in place in 2011.
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