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Senator Morrell authors legislation to exempt deployed California National Guard from state taxes
Senate Bill (SB) 924 by California Senator Mike Morrell (R-23rd District-Rancho Cucamonga) has received unanimous support from two Senate committees and is now due for review by the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee later this spring.
SB 924 would exempt California National Guard troops from paying state income taxes when income is derived from Emergency State Active Duty (ESAD) status. The bill recently passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on a 6-0 vote and was approved by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee with a 7-0 vote.
Some 23,000 members of the California National Guard stand at the ready to respond to emergency calls and activation by Gov. Jerry Brown. When activated these troops leave their regular lives – often including full-time jobs, spouses and children – on very short notice to provide aid in often dangerous situations. These assignments range from last year’s devastating wildfires to their current assignment in assisting border agents at the California-Mexico border.
Whereas the state compensates National Guard troops for their time and service the state also assesses state taxes on their wages. SB 924 would reverse this policy, recognizing Guard Members for their efforts and alleviating some of the financial stress while members are away from their regular jobs.
“Members of the National Guard often drop everything at a moment’s notice to serve communities in crisis – they are the 9-1-1 call for our emergency response system,” said Morrell. “These individuals take time away from their families to work on our behalf. They should be able to keep more of the pay they receive for the services they provide while activated during disasters.”
If SB 924 is ultimately approved by state legislators California would join New York, Oregon, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan, which all offer various tax benefits to service members. Additionally, SB 924 is sponsored by the National Guard Association of California (link is external), which advocates for the interests of current and past members of the State Military Department as well as its federal active duty and reserve force comrades in arms.
Sen Mike Morrell is Yucaipa’s Senator. He can be reached at: 10350 Commerce Center Drive, Suite A-220 in Rancho Cucamonga (91730) or by phone at: 909.919.7731. His email is; https://morrell.cssrc.us.