EASLEY — Members from American Legion Post 52 in Easley visited the state’s capitol where they got to attend a speech by AL National Commander Dale Barnett as he addressed a joint session of the S.C. Legislature in which he discussed a proposal to exempt military pensions from state taxes.
“It is not uncommon for a military retiree to be as young as age 38, having served 20 years in the military. Most of these young men and women begin second careers. By exempting military pensions, they would find re-settling in a state like South Carolina to be a very attractive option,” Barnett said. “By taxing income from their new careers and their property, the state would be able to receive not just a patriotic new resident, but additional revenue as well.”
Among other things, Barnett spoke largely against military budget cuts made in Washington, stating that throughout the country’s history, every military drawdown “was later followed by horrific war.”
“We cannot rely on the good intentions of rogue states such as North Korea or Iran,” he said to legislators.
Barnett also reiterated the American Legion’s call to bring more accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“I would like to categorically correct any misconception that the American Legion is somehow antagonistic toward or opposed to the Department of Veterans Affairs,” he said. “We care deeply about the VA, which is why we want it to correct deficiencies.”
After his speech, Barnett presented State Sen. Tom Young and State Rep. MaryGail Douglas with plaques designating them as Outstanding Members of the Legislature for 2016 as selected by the American Legion Department of South Carolina.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.