March 26, 2008
SUMMARIES OF VETERANS COMMITTEE BILLS REFERRED TO THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
By: Veronica Rose, Principal Analyst
SB 256—AN ACT AUTHORIZING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR A MILITARY MUSEUM IN THE CITY OF MIDDLETOWN
This bill authorizes the State Bond Commission to authorize the issuance of up to $6 million in bonds to establish a military museum in Middletown to honor veterans and encourage tourism and economic development in Middlesex county (Effective July 1, 2008).
SB 258—AN ACT CONCERNING EXEMPTION OF MILITARY RETIREMENT INCOME FROM THE STATE INCOME TAX
This bill increases, from 50% to 100%, the amount of federally taxable military retirement income exempt from state income tax. The exemption applies to retired members of the U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Army and Air National Guard. Current law exempts, starting with the 2008 tax year, 50% of such income (Effective July 1, 2008 and applicable to taxable years commencing on or after January 1, 2008).
sSB 306—AN ACT CONCERNING PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR VETERANS AND THE GOVERNOR'S FOOT GUARD AND HORSE GUARD
Veterans' Optional Property Tax Exemptions
This bill eliminates the statutory income guidelines for the optional veterans' property tax exemption and allows municipalities to establish their own guidelines. Under current statutory guidelines, the amount is currently $29 800 for a single veteran and $36,500 for a married veteran. But municipalities may exceed this amount by up to $25,000 (Effective July 1, 2008).
The bill eliminates the six-year deadline for recovering erroneously collected veterans' property taxes in cases involving clerical error (Effective upon passage).
Property Tax Break for Governors Foot and Horse Guards
The bill provides a property tax break to members of the Governor's Horse Guard and the Governor's Foot Guard based on years of service as follows: three years, $150; five years, $250; seven years, $350. It gives any member who has served for five years on the bill's effective date (October 1, 2008) a $250 exemption. The state must reimburse municipalities to the extent of the revenue loss represented by the exemptions (Effective October 1, 2008 and applicable to the assessment year starting October 1, 2008 and the following years).
HB 5313—AN ACT CONCERNING A STATE MEMORIAL TO VIETNAM ERA VETERANS
This bill requires the State Bond Commission to issue up to $8,000 in bond funds to design, site, and construct a memorial to Vietnam veterans (Effective July 1, 2008).
HB 5442—AN ACT CONCERNING TRICARE
This bill gives an income tax credit of (1) $2,500 to first-time TriCare preferred providers and (2) $1,000 to Tricare providers who actively participate in the TriCare network of preferred providers.
Starting with the 2008 tax year, the bill exempts from state income tax any federally taxable amount a TriCare service provider earns for services it renders in the first two years of participating in the network (Effective upon passage and applicable to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2008).
TriCare is a part of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) (32 CFR § 199, authorized by 10 USC § 1071, et seq.). CHAMPUS is the health benefit program that the federal government provides to specified individuals based on their relationship to one of the seven Uniformed Services. TriCare effectively replaced CHAMPUS in 1993, when it became the only health care program being administered for the Unformed Services.
HB 5649—AN ACT CONCERNING A SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR VETERANS' ORGANIZATIONS
This bill exempts from sales tax any veterans organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501 (c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Effective July 1,2008), (see attachment for description of 501(c)(19) organizations).