PHOENIX – A push to provide tax relief for Gold Star families is “really personal” for U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
The Democrat from Arizona is co-sponsor on a bipartisan bill introduced last week by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) that will reduce the tax rate on benefits paid to the survivors of military members who died during service.
“Unfortunately, in December of 2017, when Congress passed that big tax law, there was a provision in it that actually caused military survivor benefits to be taxed at a really, really high rate,”Sinema told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday.
“So our legislation fixes that error and actually makes it retroactive so that Gold Star families can get those tax benefits back, starting Dec. 31 of 2017.”
Sinema said the bill is “really personal” because she has a number of veterans on her team, including a social worker whose husband died during military service.
“This is a big deal for me personally, for her and for all the Gold Star families I’ve been incredibly honored to meet with and work with over the years,” she said.
She called the current tax rate on survivor benefits “a careless mistake” that resulted from the rush to get the tax bill through Congress. Sinema was in the House of Representatives at the time.
“I voted no on that package for a variety of reasons, and one of them was because when you do something this fast, mistakes like this hurt families like Gold Star families,” she said.