Rep. Vella-Wilkinson and Sen. Felag highlight total exemption of military pensions in budget


            STATE HOUSE – Rep. Camille F. J. Vella-Wilkinson and Sen. Walter S. Felag, Jr. are happy to announce that going forward, all military pensions will be exempt from state taxation due to a provision in the recently approved FY 2023 state budget.

            Representative Vella-Wilkinson, a Navy veteran and member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Senator Felag, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Special Legislation & Veterans’ Affairs, have both been advocating for exempting military pension from taxation for many years at the State House.

            “For far too long, Rhode Island has remained an outlier in the nation in how we treat our honored veterans because we are one of the few states that taxes the income on veterans’ pensions.  Massachusetts doesn’t and neither does Connecticut.  Truth be told, Rhode Island is one of only four states in the nation that taxes military pensions.  Thankfully, the General Assembly has righted this wrong by supporting and enacting the budget proposal to finally exempt veterans’ pensions from taxation beginning in 2023.  I thank the supporters and advocates for this long-overdue tax reform, but most importantly, I thank our veterans for their dedication, bravery and sacrifices so that we all may live free,” said Representative Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick).

            “Our military retirees have sacrificed so much for our country and I believe it is not only fair, but, also our moral obligation to honor their service by keeping their pension dollars in their pockets where it belongs.  I am thankful that this year we finally acknowledged the brave and selfless service of our retired military men and women by allowing them to keep the benefits they so rightfully earned and deserved by serving our country and preserving our freedom,” said Senator Felag (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton). 

            The approved state budget exempts military service pensions from taxation beginning with tax year 2023.  The Governor recommended phasing this out over the next five years in 20 percent increments, however, the General Assembly decided to completely eliminate the tax on military pensions in the upcoming tax year.

            The exemption was a result of legislation Representative Vella-Wilkinson and Senator Felag introduced this year.  Representative Vella-Wilkinson and Senator Felag had significant input in the budget writing process due to the legislators being members of the House and Senate Finance committees.