CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed four bills from the 2013 legislative session late Friday night, including one that would have allowed retired Division of Natural Resources police officers to deduct their pensions from their personal income taxes.
The governor said he vetoed that bill (SB65) because of concerns the special tax break would set a precedent for other public employees.
"I have serious concerns about providing disparate tax treatment to a very narrow class of retirees within [the Public Employees Retirement System]," Tomblin stated in his veto message. "Moreover, the bill creates a risk that the class will be expanded through litigation to include other retirees within PERS seeking the same treatment."
According to state Tax Department estimates, about 90 retirees would have been eligible for the tax write-off, reducing their income tax payments by about $160,000 a year.
Tomblin also vetoed a bill (SB331) that would have allowed the state Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority to issue bonds to help fund upgrades and expansion projects at the state's 55 county courthouses.
The governor applauded the "general intent of the bill to provide additional funding for our aging courthouses," but said he was concerned about the authority having to commit all of its annual revenue from fees to pay off the 30-year bond issue.
The authority currently receives about $2 million a year from fees on various courthouse activities, including obtaining marriage licenses or concealed weapons permits, and for filing civil suits.