Public Comments for: HB233 - Income tax, state; increases subtraction for National Guard.
911 operators experience the same issues that deputies experience
911 dispatchers are the communication line to citizens until Units arrive on the scene, without their knowledge and guidance the situations may not be as successful. Situation preparedness for units, CPR instruction, a calm caring professional to those in their time of need. They are accepted to arrive for duty in any weather, hazardous condition as police officers/deputies and fire/rescue. Sadly they suffer from forms of PTSD due to the work environment and the endless acts of service for their communities as well without proper recognition. Please consider their profession as hazardous, so they to can receive the benefits so well deserved.
I am Monti Zimmerman, COL (Ret), the Vice Chair of the Joint Leadership Council for Veteran Services, a non-partisan governor's political appointee. I support this bill. In this role, I work closely with the leadership of the Virginia National Guard. I have watched as challenges exist because the surrounding states have enticing benefits. This is an important benefit to update to help recruit and retain individuals to serve in the National Guard.
On behalf of the nearly 10,000 Soldiers, Airmen, Retirees and Families of the Virginia National Guard, I urge you to support H.B. 233. This bill updates existing legislation to conform the codified income tax subtraction with average inflation since its passage in 1994. The bill simply moves a $3,000 income tax subtraction to $5,000. This refresh of the existing law constitutes a fraction of lost revenues and, through it’s enactment, provides Leaders with a powerful retention tool. The Commonwealth relies heavily on its Guard. If the severe winter storms of the past month haven’t shown the value of the Guard, I would remind you of the nearly 1,000 Soldiers and Airmen which continuously served their communities during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, where testing teams entered over 350 long-term care, specialty care and nursing facilities to perform 180,000 tests; delivering 1,000,000 pounds of food; moving 100,000 tons of PPE; as well as, responding to the needs of our Law Enforcement Communities throughout the Commonwealth. The Guard did all of this, while also mobilizing the largest number of troops from Virginia since WW2. We now have Virginia’s finest serving in Africa combating the rise if Chinese-backed extremists, in the Balkans managing the fragile peace in the former Soviet bloc countries, and throughout the Middle East reinforcing our global partners fighting terror abroad. I urge you to support H.B. 233 and by doing so, show your support to the “Commonwealth’s Guardians.”
Honorable delegates, On behalf of the nearly 8,700 currently serving Soldiers and Airmen of the Virginia National Guard, I ask that you support House Bill No. 233. This bill increases the income tax subtraction for members of the Virginia National Guard. Currently, the income tax subtraction is set at $3,000 and is capped at the Federal pay grade of O-3. This bill increases the amount subtracted to $5,000 and moves the cap to Federal pay grade of O-6. This increase accounts for the systemic inflation for the past 30 years since the initial benefit was passed into law. Furthermore, this benefit provides the Virginia National Guard with a unique incentive to recruit and retain the courageous Soldiers and Airmen that serve their communities. While the Nation continues to deploy the “Commonwealth’s Guardians” overseas—with numbers not seen since World War II—the Commonwealth has tapped the Guard in support of extreme weather events, continued support to the pandemic response and support to law enforcement. Your Virginia National Guard has never been more utilized. We need to recruit and retain the best and brightest Virginians to meet the current and future needs of our Nation and our Communities. Passage of this bill provides our leaders with another tool in the toolbox. Thank you for your consideration. If I can answer any further questions, please contact me at email@example.com.