It's been two years since Adam and Brittany Boccher moved to Little Rock from Houston, Texas. Because Adam is a seventeen-year Air Force Special Investigations Agent, his family is accustomed to adapting whenever his orders take them somewhere new.
But when Adam, Brittany and their two small children settled into life in Central Arkansas, they knew it was the right place for their family.
While Adam works 60 hours per week at the Little Rock Air Force Base, Brittany serves as a small business owner and the founder of a local non-profit. Rather than living at the base, they decided to move to a nearby neighborhood in the effort to better immerse into the Little Rock community. This Texas family planted deep roots in Arkansas.
But with only three years until Adam's retirement from the military, the Boccher family has been considering where they will settle in the coming years. According to Brittany, one of the biggest factors in their decision is the state's tax rate on veteran's retirement benefits.
The family had been expecting to move back to Texas after Adam's retirement, but because of this week's passage of House Bill 1162, also known as the Retired Military Tax Cut, Adam and Brittany Boccher say that they now plan to call Arkansas "their forever home."
These are the stories that I love to hear. That's why I proposed the Retired Military Tax Cut in the effort to recruit new military retirees to the state by eliminating the tax on military retirement pay.
This week, the Retired Military Tax Cut passed through the General Assembly with wide bi-partisan support in both the Arkansas House and Senate, and this new law will go into effect starting January 2018.
This is great news for all Arkansans. Creating tax relief for military retirees will not only make Arkansas a more military friendly retirement destination but will also encourage veterans to start their second careers or open a business right here in the Natural State.
The average new military retiree is 38-44 years old and will have another 20+ years of productive earning as part of Arkansas's workforce. Adding these skilled and educated veterans to our workforce will further prompt economic development in our state.
When involved, hard working veteran families like the Bocchers choose Arkansas as their permanent home, our communities are made better, our economy is made better and, ultimately, our state is stronger. And I have no doubt that the steps Arkansas has taken to reduce the tax on military retired pay will do just that.