In a recent study released by WalletHub, South Carolina managed to place 5th highest in the whole of the United States for best places to live as a veteran. Using a ranking system based on things like employment rates, benefits, and taxes, South Carolina only missed out to Florida, New Hampshire, Alabama, and New Hampshire.
Some of South Carolina’s veterans benefits that helped them score so highly in this study were things like the percentage of businesses owned by veterans. South Carolina was the number one state in the country for this statistic.
In fact, the only thing that stopped the state from scoring a higher position on the list was their slightly less appealing policy on income tax. Veterans pensions in this state are not exempt. However, the governing body in South Carolina is phasing in new benefits. These new laws will allow veterans over 65 to deduct 28,000 dollars by 2020.
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History for vets in South Carolina
South Carolina has made massive strides to reform the state’s policies towards veterans in the last decade.
Back in 2015, seven bills were passed, each one of them aimed at supporting veterans taking residence in the state.
These bills were the stepping stones to South Carolina’s high score on the study. The bills passed included laws that allowed extensions on vehicles owned by veterans who have disabilities. They also approved government funding for college tuition for ex-servicemen, while they lived in the state.
Another bill that was passed was in regard to absent voting. This allowed any military servicemen overseas to vote in elections.
In 2019 a South Carolina legal board ruled in order of a law exempting military veterans from state income taxes.
They voted unanimously on this to allow the 38,000 eligible veterans in the state to gain exemption on their retirement income starting in 2021.
The state is also making great strides to find work for all skilled ex-servicemen. Currently, there are 60,000 high paid jobs in the state looking for workers, many of whom have gained funding to widen their search pool to include veterans.
More recently, a proposed bill has been suggested that would give military veterans the ability to deduct their retirement income from their taxable state income.
If it passes, this law will save eligible veterans around 10 million dollars a year. Each individual under the proposed law is set to save around 500 dollars a year in tax benefits.
In the past, South Carolina may have been slightly average when it came to quality of life for veterans. However, in the last decade, the state has taken massive strides in reform in regard to the treatment of its veterans.
Due to this massive positive change in attitude, South Carolina has become a great place to live after service in the military. It shows no signs of stopping either, and we can predict it holding one of the top 3 spots, the next time a Wallethub do a study.