Ricketts pitches military retirement tax plan to lawmakers

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Gov. Pete Ricketts is pitching a proposed tax break for military retirees as a way to keep skilled, highly motivated workers in Nebraska.

Ricketts presented the proposal to the Legislature's Revenue Committee on Thursday along with veterans, including some he hired during his time as a TD Ameritrade executive.

The bill would exempt half of the benefits paid to military retirees who stay in Nebraska. It would apply to an estimated 13,000 retirees and cost the state an estimated $16.9 million in lost revenue in its first two years.

Ricketts says he views it as a workforce development bill to address Nebraska's worker shortage.

Some lawmakers question whether the bill would provide enough incentive to keep retirees. Even if the bill passes, Iowa would still provide more tax benefits.