State Tax Update: MOAA Members on Both Coasts Work Toward Exemptions

State Tax Update: MOAA Members on Both Coasts Work Toward Exemptions
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Is your state still fully taxing retirement pay? MOAA National serves in an advisory capacity for state-specific issues such as income tax exemption. Please contact your local MOAA council as state legislation must originate at the state level.


After multiple states made changes in 2021 allowing retirees from uniformed service to keep more of what they earned, work continues by MOAA members in several parts of the country to add states to that list or expand existing laws to cover more individuals.


Here’s a look at recent events in two states.


[RELATED: MOAA's Military State Report Card and Tax Guide]



MOAA’s California Council of Chapters (CALMOAA) has helped rally support for AB 1623, a bill exempting all uniformed services retirement pay as well as payments received from DoD by survivors. If passed, the exemption would take effect for the 2023 tax year and last through the 2032 tax year.


“Providing a state income tax exclusion to retirees of the uniformed services not only signifies the gratitude of Californians for these men and women who chose to serve our country, it also benefits the state and local economies by helping to retain skilled and motivated individuals in California,” states the bill, introduced by Assemblyman James Ramos.


Officials with CALMOAA joined with Ramos, fellow veterans, and others including the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), which is the largest police association in the State of California, at an April 8 event in Redlands, Calif., in support of the measure.


CALMOAA “is proud to support this bill, and we are fortunate to have Assemblyman Ramos as the author of AB 1623, which has long been our top legislative priority,” said CALMOAA President Lt. Cmdr. E. Fred Green, USN (Ret) and CALMOAA Legislative Vice President Lt. Cmdr Jeff Breiten, USN (Ret).


California is one of few states with no income tax breaks offered to uniformed services retirees.




North Carolina

A 2021 law granted 100% exemption for military retirement pay and Survivor Benefit Plan income from North Carolina state income tax, but MOAA members who fought for the legislation are eager for an expansion to cover all uniformed servicemembers.


While the law covers the armed services, it does not apply to those who served in the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service or NOAA.


North Carolina resident Col. Jeri Graham, USA (Ret), a member of MOAA’s board of directors, is continuing to lead the charge for these tax reform efforts. Anyone interested in joining can email Graham for more information.


“Every voice counts in the advocacy business, and we need all hands on deck,” Graham said.


What About My State?

While MOAA does not endorse state-level legislation, many resources are available through MOAA for those interested in getting involved at the state level, or in the current tax laws for retirement pay across the nation.

  • Want to know the current policies in your state? Visit MOAA’s Military State Report Card and Tax Guide for an array of state-tax information, including how states handle retirement pay and survivor benefits involving the uniformed services. While MOAA attempts to keep this information as up to date as possible, we can’t track legislative changes in all 50 states in real time -- email with any suggestions for changes, and include links to source materials as appropriate.

  • Want to know what changes could be in the works in your state, or what local MOAA affiliates are fighting for in your area? Reach out to your local MOAA chapter for an update – and consider a chapter membership so you can make your voice heard.

  • Is your local MOAA affiliate supporting tax-related legislation, or has legislation in your state made progress in a recent session? Email with details, and your updates could be included in a future edition of The MOAA Newsletter.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley