Joined by veteran advocates and civic leaders, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer unveiled the “Helping our Heroes Plan,” a proposal to provide real support for veterans across California.
“California is blessed to have one of the nation’s largest military communities, but countless veterans – particularly homeless veterans – have been left out in the cold by Gavin Newsom. It’s a disgrace and a human tragedy that our state has 11,000 homeless veterans and it’s unacceptable that we’re doing almost nothing about it. That’s why I’m putting forward a plan to help make housing more affordable and available for those who have served while also reducing the tax burden on veterans.” – Mayor Kevin Faulconer
“I’m proud to support Mayor Faulconer’s plan and vision to help get veterans off our streets and into the housing they deserve. California has become too expensive for those who have served our country and we must do our part to help connect them to the resources necessary to make it more affordable along with doing the right thing and eliminating taxes on their benefits.” – Ray Delgado, Marine Corps veteran
“Mayor Faulconer’s plan represents a compassionate approach that will have a real impact for veterans across our state. The reality is that California is too expensive, and exempting military retirement from state income taxes for our heroes will go a long way into making it more affordable. We also must address the homelessness crisis we face created by how expensive our state has become. The Mayor’s plan will do just that and it’s why I’m proud to not only endorse this plan, but I also support the only candidate with the experience and record reducing homelessness and making California more affordable for all.” – Mario Guerra, Former Mayor of Downey & veterans advocate
The highlights of Faulconer’s plan include:
Exempting Military Retirement from Income Taxes
All retirement income received from the US Armed Services would be exempt from state income tax. Only 3 states – including California – still fully tax military retirement pay. This policy would make California more competitive with the rest of the United States when it comes to retaining retired veterans in state and their unique job skills acquired during their service.
Housing California’s Heroes Program
An Executive Order would be used to create Housing California’s Heroes Program with a statewide plan to address veteran homelessness in California under the California Department of Veterans Affairs. This would follow San Diego’s nationally recognized “Housing our Heroes” program statewide. This alone will significantly reduce the 11,000 homeless veterans living in California by leveraging federal resources.
Increasing County Veteran Service Office Funding
State funding to County Veteran Service Offices (CVSO) would be increased by $6 million per year to better serve California veterans dealing with VA and Department of Defense and attract more federally-funded veteran benefits to California. An estimated 65,000 California veterans currently are missing their federal benefits—representing approximately $1.1 billion in lost funding.
Doubling the Amount for the Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption
The Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption would be doubled to approximately $300,000 and about $500,000 for low-income veterans so they can afford to stay in California. This increased property tax exemption will apply to individuals rated 100% disabled veterans as defined by the VA.