Arkansas is hoping to retain and attract military retirees to the state as a way to strengthen its workforce and spur new business formation. The first step is a new law exempting military retirement pay from the state income tax. “The whole idea behind it is that we want to try our best to retain the talent that’s here in the state of Arkansas and keep them here,” said Rob Ator, military affairs director for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The law, which took effect Jan. 1, is estimated to cost the state $13.4 million annually, reports Arkansas Business. The state also has plans for a marketing effort, Ator said.
The next step is going after the defense industry. “We want to have military in our workforce when those companies come to our state looking to relocate,” he said.