Politics

Gov. Matt Bevin says he will push to stop taxing the retirement income of veterans during next year’s legislative session if he’s reelected.

Bevin said he would include the proposal in a larger tax reform initiative while lawmakers are hammering out a two-year budget plan next year.

Bevin made the comments at a campaign event in Louisville surrounded by a group of veterans supporting his reelection.

“The small amount of revenue that that generates for this state is not even remotely comparable to the sacrifice that has been made,” Bevin said.

“I wish we had the luxury of saying the same of everybody everywhere, but if there is a group of people that have served our nation and our commonwealth to the degree that is worthy of that it would be our military veterans.”

Bevin said that there would be a wide range of proposals included in next year’s tax reform discussion, including changes to the state’s income tax, gas tax, death tax and taxes on retirement income.

He also mentioned the local option sales tax, a proposal that would allow local governments to add up to 1 percent to the state’s sales tax through a referendum.

Bevin is in a close race with Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear ahead of next month’s election.

Bevin is a former Army captain and touted several veteran-related measures that have passed out of the legislature, including a bill that allows military families to enroll their children in school before they have a permanent address.

Earlier this summer, Beshear unveiled a proposal to allow veterans to get college credit in exchange for their military service.

There are about 300,000 veterans in Kentucky; about 27,000 of them are retired.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.