OSCEOLA – House District 95 Republican candidate Doug Smith today said he would support legislation in the 2009 Iowa General Assembly to ease the financial burden on Iowa military personnel who are in harm’s way to defend America’s freedom.
“There’s an old saying that freedom isn’t free. Our fellow Iowans in the military should not be expected to bear more than their fair share of the cost,” Smith said. “I recognize and honor our military personnel on the Fourth of July, as do almost all Americans. But, it’s time we have a legislator who will remember our friends, neighbors and family members in the military on January 12, 2009 when the Legislature begins its next session.”
Smith said the global war against terrorism has resulted in extended military tours of duty for Iowa Guard and Reserve units and active duty personnel that were virtually unimagined in past conflicts. “There are Iowans who have done two, three and even four tours of duty in war zones. That’s taken a great toll on their financial security,” Smith said.
He said he would increase the amount of the veterans’ property tax exemption and vote for the necessary appropriations to fully fund it.
Smith said he also would:
- Exclude all military income received by Iowans in the National Guard, Reserve or U.S. armed forces from state income taxes while on federal active duty;
- Limit the higher education costs for veterans at Iowa’s three state universities and community colleges for veterans;
- Exclude from Iowa’s income taxes any military retired pay that is received by a veteran for service-connected disabilities;
- Fund higher education at an Iowa community college or public university for the dependent children of veterans with a 100-percent service-related disability.
“Iowans in the military have more than lived up to their responsibilities. They’ve made huge personal sacrifices to defend our freedom and, often, they’ve paid their price with their own blood and even their lives,” Smith said. “The Iowa Legislature should live up to its responsibility. I’ll do that if elected.”
House District 95 includes Clarke, Union and Decatur counties.