Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 172066
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File Number: 172066 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-881-17 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: MILITARY SURVIVING SPOUSES EQUITY ACT Introduced: 8/25/2017
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 10/3/2017
Agenda Date: 10/3/2017 Agenda Item Number: 11A6
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO ENACT THE MILITARY WIDOW’S TAX ELIMINATION ACT OF 2017, S. 339, H.R. 846, OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION THAT WOULD REPEAL THE REQUIREMENT FOR A REDUCTION OF SURVIVOR ANNUITIES UNDER THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL TO OFFSET THE RECEIPT OF VETERANS DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION KNOWN AS THE WIDOW’S TAX
Indexes: URGING
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 10/3/2017 11A6 Adopted P

Office of the Chairperson 10/2/2017 Scrivener's Errors
REPORT: On handwritten Page 3, in the title section, the word “ELMINATION” shall be corrected to “ELIMINATION”.

County Attorney 8/25/2017 Assigned Suzanne Villano-Charif

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO ENACT THE MILITARY WIDOW’S TAX ELIMINATION ACT OF 2017, S. 339, H.R. 846, OR SIMILAR LEGISLATION THAT WOULD REPEAL THE REQUIREMENT FOR A REDUCTION OF SURVIVOR ANNUITIES UNDER THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL TO OFFSET THE RECEIPT OF VETERANS DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION KNOWN AS THE WIDOW’S TAX

BODY
WHEREAS, when a military retiree passes, their retirement pay is terminated and they may leave a surviving spouse and children without a substantial income source; and
WHEREAS, the Survivor Benefit Plan (“SBP”) is an optional insurance plan offered by the United States Department of Defense to military retirees that ensures continued retirement income to family members after the retiree’s death; and
WHEREAS, military retirees who elect to participate in the SBP pay monthly premiums to ensure that a portion of their retirement pay continues to be provided to their spouses or children after their death ; and
WHEREAS, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (“DIC”) is offered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) and provides a monthly entitlement benefit to surviving spouses and unmarried children of service members who died while on active duty, or retirees who died of service-connected deaths; and
WHEREAS, current federal policy prohibits a military spouse from collecting the full annuity benefits from the SBP if the military spouse is also receiving compensation from DIC; and
WHEREAS, the offset, also known as the Widows’ Tax, occurs when the government subtracts the value of the VA’s DIC from the Department of Defense’s survivor benefit, significantly reducing compensation for the numerous family members who rely on it; and
WHEREAS, the Widow’s Tax is an unfair penalty that cuts earned benefits to military spouses and children; and
WHEREAS, our nation’s military personnel risk their lives to defend our nation and should be able to trust that the benefits they designate for their spouses and families will be available to them; and
WHEREAS, the United States Congress has considered a repeal of the SBP offset for over 12 years in six separate bills; and
WHEREAS, S. 339, a bill entitled the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act of 2017, was introduced by United States Senator Bill Nelson (D–Florida) for consideration during the 115th Congress; and
WHEREAS, H.R. 846, a bill entitled the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, was introduced by United States Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) for consideration during the 115th Congress; and
WHEREAS, S. 339 and H.R. 846 propose to: (1) repeal provisions that require the offset of amounts paid in DIC from SBP annuities for the surviving spouses of former military personnel who are entitled to military retired pay or who would be entitled to retired pay except for being under 60 years of age; (2) prohibit requiring repayment of certain amounts previously paid to SBP recipients in the form of a retired pay refund; and (3) require the Secretary of the military department concerned to pay an annuity to a member’s dependent children when there is no eligible surviving spouse; and
WHEREAS, S. 339 and H.R. 846 would eliminate the SBP/DIC offset by repealing the dollar for dollar reduction of the SBP by the DIC received, and would also prohibit the federal government from recoupment of amounts previously refunded to a surviving spouse who is or has been in receipt of an annuity under the SBP and who has received a refund; and
WHEREAS, this Board supports S. 339, H.R. 846 or similar legislation that would eliminate the military Widow’s Tax,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the United States Congress to enact S. 339, H.R. 846 or similar legislation that would repeal the requirement for a reduction of survivor annuities under the survivor benefit plan for surviving spouses of military personnel to offset the receipt of veterans dependency and indemnity compensation known as the Widow’s Tax.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to United States Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida), United States Representative Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Delegation.
Section 3. Directs the County’s federal lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2017 Federal Legislative Package to include this item.



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