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Gov. Pete Ricketts on Friday announced his support for a military retiree tax relief plan that would exempt 50 percent of military retirement benefits from the state income tax.

The legislation would impact more than 13,000 military retirees in Nebraska and would reduce state revenue by $15 million a year.

The bill, which will be introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, is designed to salute veterans and keep retirees in the state.

"We want to make Nebraska the most veteran-friendly state in the country and encourage our heroes to stay in our state and move here," Ricketts said during a morning news conference.

"Surrounding states provide tax relief for veterans, and with this proposal we can make our state more competitive regionally and nationally," he said. 

"This is another way to say thank you to our veterans," the governor said.

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Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue, who has sponsored similar legislation in the past, said she will "co-sponsor and show full support of the governor's effort."

Both Blood and Sen. Sue Crawford of Bellevue have supported a number of legislative efforts to assist military families. Both of their legislative districts are heavily populated with veterans and constituents who work at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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