Governor Larry Hogan recently made two announcements: vets will receive free admission to state parks and a tax relief.

On Friday, November 10, the day before Veterans Day, Governor Larry Hogan made an announcement that will affect all veterans, both residents and non-residents of the state -- they will be granted free admission to Maryland State Parks. The governor also announced that he intends to push legislation during the next legislative session, which would eliminate all state retirement income tax received from military pensions. Below are breakdowns of each legislative announcement.

Free Park Admission

Free access to the state’s 72 parks will have a broad impact on Maryland’s 414,000 veteran residents. The park fee waiver will be effective immediately. It will provide vets with the opportunity to access scenic locations, like Assateague State Park, Deep Creek Lake, as well as parks located along the Chesapeake Bay. With this newly granted access, vets will now have the same benefit already granted to reserve and active duty members of the military.

Tax Relief

Veterans in the state of Maryland currently receive a tax credit on incomes received from military pensions, but Hogan’s proposal will expand on the credit, which was increased two years ago by the General Assembly by $5,000. Currently, veterans are only exempt from state taxes on the first $15,000 of their retirement incomes as part of the Hometown Heroes Act of 2016. Governor Hogan has previously proposed exempting retired military from state taxes in 2015 and 2016, but the proposals were not approved by the General Assembly. Hogan is currently working to amend the legislation, which failed to make it out of an Assembly committee and was projected to carry a price tag of $100 million. While the proposal has economic implications, Hogan says that tax relief would help to retain “valuable citizens” who help to grow the economy by raising families and holding jobs in the state, while also encouraging active military to retire in the state. The legislation will be reintroduced when the next legislative session begins shortly after the start of the new year. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image courtesy of Montgomery Community Media.