Port: Governor Burgum and a Republican lawmaker want to exempt military pay and pensions from state income taxes and it’s a solid idea

The Belfield American Legion Color Guard marches toward the Belfield Theatre for the town's Memorial Day Services on Monday, May 30, 2016. (Dustin Monke / The Dickinson Press)

North Dakota has thousands and thousands of military members, both active duty and retired, living in our state.

North Dakota has a chronic labor shortage.

North Dakota is also one of just eight states which still fully taxes military pay to retirees.

Governor Doug Burgum, along with state Rep. Shannon Roers Jones (R-Fargo), each aim to kill those three “birds” with one stone.

Or, er, two stones I suppose.

Burgum is proposing an exemption from state income taxes for military pay to retired service members.

Roers Jones, meanwhile, wants to exempt pay to active duty military members.

Let’s face it, we don’t compensate the men and women of the armed forces in a fashion that’s anywhere near commensurate with what they give us with their service. What they risk, and what they sacrifice, is enormous. If we can leave a little extra money in their pockets, that’s a good thing on its own.

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