HR 3147 Military Retired Pay Tax Exemption

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May 30

Please take time to sign MSgt Waldens petition [see bellow] in support of HR 3147. We are hoping that legislators we consider giving our potential new retirees and older retirees and widows support. We want to entice new veterans to consider SC their home. Its an investment in the future for a seasoned workforce for the state of SC. A win / win that should have a 5-8 year return on investment to the state of SC.

Thank you for your service to our nation on this Memorial Day. Today we remember that FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE, some have given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation! Lets take a minute and reflect upon our brothers who have gone before us!!

Thanks to MSgt Walden for leading this effort!!! Tuesday is our final last hope for this bill to be supported by our legislators. Sad commentary if it gets defeated!

Thomas A. Robillard Col, USAF, Ret.
State MOAA Council VP for Legislative Affairs
(803) 730-6109

May 29

I just signed the petition "South Carolina State Senate: VOTE NOW to Support Our Military Retirement H.3147" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.
Our goal is to reach 500 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

Richard “Rick” Walden

May 27

This is the state of where we are on HR 3174. As noted in the text and attachments from Bill Bethea of the Military Task Force. Senator Malloy has used every legislative tool to block this bill. He does not communicate with anybody and does not return calls from his constituents. We are baffled by his lack of communication. We have had some of our best people attempting to see where the concerns are and we get nothing!

As Bill Bethea indicated a tremendous loss for every new retiree, and the 56,000 retirees in the State of SC. Extremely short sighted and a loss of some of the best trained workforce that SC needs for the 21st century jobs of the future at Boeing , BMW, Volvo, Scana, and all the other industries. This is my home state, as it is yours, and we want it to be the best for the future. This effort by Senator Gerald Malloy WILL NOT earn SC the title of " military friendly " and could hurt us more then people realize in the BRAC projected in 2019.

Thomas A. Robillard Col, USAF, Ret.
State MOAA Council VP for Legislative Affairs
(803) 730-6109

May 27

Gentleman, this is going out shortly---unbelievable situation! I just cannot fathom how this can be happening!
We will need a miracle, but are still pushing for the Hail Mary!

William L. Bethea, Jr.
Chairman, SC Military Base Task Force
T: 843-837-8600
M: 843-384-8446

May 26

To : Bill Bethea
Subject: Brief update on pension bill as of adjournment 5/26

Senator Malloy from Hartsville continued to block a vote on the Retired Veterans pension bill all of this week. No one who can do so under Senate Rules was willing to force the issue despite pleas to do so. With only 3 days left and a filibuster of the gun bill coming up next week, things are looking bleak. We will continue to push for help next week, but there is a bizarre unwillingness to confront Malloy.
This is a sad and weighty predicament since it impacts 58,000 plus South Carolina Veterans and the greater world vision of the State Government in South Carolina as anti-military towards retirees and thus to a degree anti-military generally. It greatly tarnishes our State image of “very military friendly”. It will be a huge let-down to a whole lot of people, retired and active but soon to be retired. The retiree and other active military communication channels will spread the word far and wide. This is one case where trying and failing will be even worse than not trying at all. It will deprive our workforce of many new well qualified workers and deprive our tax base of the compliments and benefits, social and economic, they and their families will make to our communities and our State.
We will keep trying to force the issue!
This is not very happy news to start the Memorial Day weekend. We tried yesterday to get the Senate to send a meaningful Memorial Day message (see attached – NOTE: reference to 5119 is because we attached 3147 to another bill in an effort to overcome the blockage of 3147), but they were not willing to do so. Best wishes for Memorial Day, notwithstanding the forgoing.

Holly Fetner

Detailed Documention of the Issues

Purple Heart vet to SC senator: "What's your problem?"
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May 26

Time is running out at the State House this legislative session and thousands of military retirees are hoping lawmakers will approve a tax break that'll affect their wallets.
In a nutshell, the bill would provide deductions of $17,500 for veterans under age 65 and at least 20 years of service, and $30,000 deductions for vets over 65. The retired vets under 65 would have to get a job paying as much as the deduction. It also includes protection for surviving spouses.

John Testruth of Lexington County said, "I saw a t-shirt the other day. It came up, and it said, 'I've bled for this country for your freedom.' A lot of people don't understand that.” But Testruth says he understands it. "My injury was I got shrapnel in the right shoulder, back of my head, side of my face." Testruth was awarded a Purple Heart for an injury during the Vietnam War. "I got hit in December of 1967." Roughly half-a-century later, Testruth is fighting another battle.
"This legislation needs to pass. Why it needs to be passed is because, if we don't pass it, we're going to lose a lot of veterans." The bill would give retired military members like Testruth a big tax-break. "If something breaks, I would have extra money. I wouldn't be scratching the bottom of the barrel trying to find out how I'm going to pay for it."
Supporters say it would also help the state's economy and workforce by keeping retirees here.
"We're in the fourth quarter of the ballgame. We're down. The clock is running, and the game is almost over,” said Tom Robillard. Robillard, who retired from the Air Force more than a decade ago, admits if it weren't for family members in South Carolina, he would have retired elsewhere for better tax breaks.
He too is hoping lawmakers will pass the tax break this session. "I believe it's a win-win for South Carolina. It's a win for our veterans. It's a win for the state,” Robillard expressed.
Meanwhile, Testruth has a message for Senator Gerald Malloy of Darlington, who State House sources say is standing in the way of the bill's passage. "What's your problem? You know, everybody else -- the House has passed it. Most of the senators are ready to pass it, and you're sitting there holding the whole thing up."
One of the bill's sponsors, Representative Murrell Smith of Sumter, says this is a workforce issue and said the bill has wide support. It's already scored two unanimous votes in the House.
Meanwhile, Senator John Courson of Columbia is hoping Senator Malloy will pull his objection to the bill, so it can get a vote this session. WIS did not hear back from Senator Malloy as of Wednesday evening.
Another note about Testruth, he said if it weren't for family in South Carolina, he would have retired in a more vet-friendly state like Tennessee or Florida.
Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved.


HR 3147 Current Status Update
May 24

This is the status HR 3147 as of today. Senator Malloy has been the main obstacle in passage and currently is blocking it from coming up for a vote. A BIG MISTAKE and error for all veterans and SC in retaining a technically skilled work force for our future industries like Boeing, Volvo, BMW, and all the major tire industries.
Bill Bethea of our Military Task Force has asked once again that you CALL YOUR Senator and request that they exercise rule 32B of the rules committee to take this bill off the contested category and ultimately bring it to a floor vote. The clock is running out and calls from contituents are imperative.
This article below is from the May 23 The State newspaper. This very important bill for South Carolina's future and could help military retirees immediately.
It is being held up by a single senator after passing the house unanimously and being voted out of Senate committee twice. At this link, you can find contact information for senators if you wish to voice your support for or against this bill.

Military retirees tax breaks on the bubble in S.C. General Assembly • Senator Malloy Balks •
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May 23

May 23 2016

When Tom Robillard retired from the Air Force 12 years ago after 30 years of service, he had to decide where to put down roots. But at 58, like most military retirees, he still needed to work.
A big factor in where he would embark on his second career was which state wouldn’t tax his pension.
Robillard, a Connecticut native, favored Tennessee or Florida — neither of which have state income taxes. But he settled on South Carolina, because his daughter and grandchildren are in Columbia.
“Otherwise, I would be in Destin (Fla.) right now,” said Robillard, who went on to work as a biomedical consultant at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter and later was supervisor of the biochemistry department at Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson. “When you get out of the service, there are a lot of people that are competing for you.”
The S.C. General Assembly is considering a bill that would offer state income tax deductions for military retirees. The plan would offer military retirees with at least 20 years of service a deduction of $17,500 a year for those under 65 or $30,000 a year for those 65 or older.
A caveat is that the military retirees under 65 must embark on a second job in the state with an annual salary of at least $17,500.
The bill unanimously passed the House in 2015 and was carried over to the Senate this year. It has passed the Senate Finance Committee twice, but has been held up mainly by state Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington.
Malloy has logged an objection to the bill, which means his presence is necessary before it can be debated and voted upon by the entire Senate. He was out of town Monday and said by text that the issue warranted further discussion, but didn’t elaborate.
The legislative session ends June 2. If senators don’t vote on the bill by then, it will have to be reintroduced next year.
About 58,000 military retirees live in South Carolina, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The bill would cost the state about $18 million a year, according to the S.C. Department of Revenue.
But the bill’s backers — including the S.C. Military Base Task Force, which is charged with keeping military bases open and retaining and creating military jobs in the Palmetto State — said the benefits outweigh the cost.
The tax break would retain disciplined, skilled workers like Robillard, said task force chairman Bill Bethea of Bluffton, who was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley. The cost would be offset by taxes on the retirees’ new jobs and those of their spouses.
“We’re very fortunate to have Boeing and Volvo and BMW and all these tire companies in South Carolina,” said Bethea, an 8-year veteran of the Marine Corps who fought in Vietnam. “They require good, dependable, reliable workers. Someone who has been in the military for 30 years makes an ideal employee.
“Keeping those people here strengthens our workforce,” he said. “It also brings in a replacement stream of income that exceeds their retirement income.”
The bill’s passage would also help cement South Carolina as one of the most military friendly states in the nation. That’s a distinction which will bolster the state’s standing with the Pentagon when new rounds of base closings and realignment, called BRAC, kicks in, perhaps in 2019.
Currently, the Military Officers Association of American rates South Carolina yellow — or average — when it comes to military issues. The rating is not green — the highest — primarily because of the income tax issue. Red is the lowest rating.
Currently, 26 states have no state income tax at all or exempt military retires from paying state income taxes, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce.
“Every retiree looks at that when they are making their decision to retire,” said Robillard, who is a state vice president of the national officers association. “ And that extends to enlisted retirees as well as officers. This legislation benefits all retirees.”
Boosters said another benefit of the bill is that it would say “thank you” to retirees for their lengthy service, which often includes combat.
“These are people who for 20 or 30 years moved every two years, lived like gypsies, put their lives on the line and weren’t able to put down roots,” Bethea said. “We feel this is a way that South Carolinians can give back to those veterans for the sacrifices they made for our freedom.”

58,000 - Number of military retirees in South Carolina
$19 billion - Economic impact of military in South Carolina
$1.5 billion - Pensions paid to non-disabled military retirees in South Carolina
$771 million - Annual state tax revenue linked to the military
$450 million - Economic activity in South Carolina by retirees
$66 million - Pensions paid to disabled military retirees in South Carolina
SOURCE: S.C. Military Base Task Force


MOAA Storms the Hill in Washington DC April 13 2016

South Carolina MOAA Council of Chapters President David Lobb COL USA (ret) teams up with MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington COL USA (ret) in front of Congressman Jeff Duncan’s (R-SC) office as they Storm the Hill Wednesday April 13th on behalf of those who have served and who continue to serve.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with Council President David Lobb and MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talks with Council President David Lobb and MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with Council President David Lobb during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Congressman James E Clyburn (D-SC)  with MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington and Council President David Lobb during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) with Council President David Lobb and MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) with MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington and Council President David Lobb during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC)and his Legislative Assistant Jay Fields seated with MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington and Council President David Lobb during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) with MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington and Council President David Lobb during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), Keynote Speaker for the MOAA Storming the Hill event, with MOAA National Director of Communications Jonathan Withington and Council President David Lobb during MOAA Storming the Hill 2016.
Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC) with COL Withington and COL David Lobb
More than 160 MOAA members — including council and chapter leaders from almost every state and members of the association’s board of directors, staff, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee, and Currently Serving and Currently Serving Spouse advisory councils — “stormed” Capitol Hill Wednesday Apr 13th during the association’s annual “Storming the Hill” advocacy event.
Participants specifically focused on two key issues during their meetings with elected officials:
Protecting Survivor Benefit Plan-Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (SBP-DIC) benefits for military widows and widowers from the military “widows tax,” HR 1594 was authored by Congressman Wilson. This bill is personal to Congressman Wilson since one of his staff is effected by the Widow Tax and he has been fighting for many years to enact this law. Please ask your Congressman to co-sponsor HR 1594 and Senators to co-sponsor S979, the Senate version.
And rejecting disproportional TRICARE fee hikes and plan changes.
Hill-stormers provided their legislators detailed informational packets, which contained key takeaways, FAQs, fact sheets, and full-color pamphlets that break down each issue with comprehensive statistics for disproportional TRICARE fee hikes and personal stories of families affected by the SBP-DIC offset. Copies are posted in the legislative section.
Pictures from the event are posted above.

Kind regards,

David B. Lobb
President MOAA-SC
COL USA (ret)
Cell: 1-803-270-8690

MOAA Explains What Happened at Storming the Hill 2016

Congressman Joe Wilson’s Keynote Address for Storming the Hill

Congressman Joe Wilson Meets with the MOAA Council of Chapters February 2016

Congressman Joe Wilson with the new 2016 Council Board
Council President Lobb presents Congressman Wilson a MOAA hat
Congressman Joe Wilson with the Board
Congressman Wilson swears in the new board members
Congressman Joe Wilson flanked by Bill Dukes, Civilian Aid to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) for South Carolina and Council President David Lobb

Congressman Joe Wilson Meets with MOAA President General Atkins

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Friday February 12 2016 - Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) was honored to meet with General Atkins, president of the Military Officers Association of America, on February 11, 2016, in his Washington office. They discussed Wilson’s Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, legislation that would end the so-called “widow’s tax,” a dollar-for-dollar offset of payments between the Survivor Benefit Plan and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation program. Congressman Wilson sincerely thanks General Atkins and Steve Strobridge, director of MOAA’s Government Relations Department, for discussing and supporting military surviving spouses and dependent children of those service members and retirees who sacrificed for our nation.

Welcome to the Military Officers Association of America's MOAA South Carolina Council of Chapters Website

We are comprised an organization of 12 chapters located throughout the State and are part of the national association.

MOAA is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. With about 370,000 members from each of the seven uniform services, we are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interest of military officers at every stage of their careers. Membership includes active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve and former officers and their families.
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David B. Lobb
President MOAA-SC
COL USA (ret)
Cell: 1-803-270-8690


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Published On - 5/31/16