A Riverside County lawmaker’s proposal to exempt from state income taxes all California National Guard members activated to contend with a natural disaster or riot was unanimously approved Thursday by the state Senate.
Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Menifee, said Senate Bill 924 aims to honor “the sacrifices made by individuals who are called away from their families in times of crisis to protect our homes and property.”
According to the bill — now bound for the floor of the Assembly — a member of CalGuard, the State Military Reserve and the Naval Militia would be eligible to exclude all compensation received while deployed on Emergency State Active Duty from his or her gross income tax liability.
A nonpartisan Senate analysis of the legislation noted that such activations by the governor are “infrequent,” and that CalGuard members — who number more than 20,000 — are more likely to be called up for wartime military service. Under those circumstances, members are converted to active-duty military and are under federal jurisdiction, thus would not be eligible for the proposed state tax exemption.
The State Military Reserve, an all-volunteer force numbering 1,500 men and women, and the Naval Militia, numbering three people, are dedicated solely to intrastate operations and are never placed under federal authority, according to the analysis.
Morrell said SB 924 is analogous to laws already on the books in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Virginia.
The National Guard Association of California, the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers and the Military Officers Association of America are backing the bill.
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