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Monday, January 08, 2007

A pander too far

I think that we should do a lot of things for veterans. Tuition help, health care, mental health support, even housing assistance is all fine with me. But exempting them from state income taxes? That's a bit much.

Being a tax policy purist, I think there generally needs to be a very good reason for exempting anything from taxation. I don't see any good reason here other than trying to win votes and allow people to feel good about themselves. Stretch our National Guard to the limit, don't give troops the equipment they need, but if they make it home they won't pay taxes!

Sorry, but I'm not that cynical or easily bought off. Besides, something tells me that this proposal isn't going to do much to help the roughly 50% of homeless people who are veterans.

5 Comments:

At 4:34 PM, January 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a point with respect to veterans and Guard members who live in the state, but with respect to active duty military, here's the problem. If you're active duty military in Texas, for example, and still want to be a Minnesota resident, you have to pay Minnesota income taxes, even though you're based in Texas and don't live in Minnesota. That's hardly fair, especially considering that Texas doesn't have an income tax. As a result, most active duty military switch their residency to a different state. That's not good policy at all, as it discourages Minnesotans from returning after their tour of duty is done.

 
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