Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, surrounded by supporters, addresses the media after he qualified to run for governor this afternoon. Qualifying for Georgia's 2018 elections began Monday and runs through Friday. Georgia has races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other statewide posts, and every congressional seat nationwide is up for a vote in November.

Georgia 2018: Cagle aims to cut taxes for military veterans

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle unveiled a proposal Tuesday to eliminate all taxes on retirement benefits for military personnel, part of a broader pledge to reduce taxes by at least $100 million next year if he’s elected governor.

Cagle, who faces a July 24 runoff against Secretary of State Brian Kemp, pledged to enact the legislation to exempt military retirement benefits and pensions from income taxes in his first legislative session.

His campaign did not immediately have a pricetag for his plan, though Cagle called it part of a goal “to make Georgia the nation’s best place for veterans to call home.” 

There are roughly 800,000 veterans in the state, and they make up an important bloc of the Republican electorate.

With no veterans in the contest – Hunter Hill and Clay Tippins finished in third and fourth place in the primary – Cagle and Kemp have scrapped for military support.

Kemp tapped state Rep. David Clark, who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, to head up his veterans coalition. Cagle boasts several prominent veteran supporters, including Jim Butterworth, the former adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard.

The two have dueling plans to slash taxes. Cagle has promised to reduce the income tax rate below 5 percent. Kemp calls for a new cap on state spending and a review of all taxpayer-funded incentives that would pave the way for cuts.

The winner faces Democrat Stacey Abrams, who was once the state House’s top Democrat. She has said she’ll unveil initiatives to help homeless veterans and target predatory lending.

Read more recent AJC coverage of the governor’s race: 

In Georgia GOP governor’s race, a fight over who’s most loyal to Trump  

A ‘Deal/Cagle team’ without the governor (for now)  

In Kemp’s first runoff ad, Jake and that shotgun make a comeback  

Two days, two seismic Georgia political shifts on display  

Cagle, Kemp pick a fight with Atlanta mayor over detainee order  

Secret recording shows Cagle backed 'bad' bill to hurt gov 

Georgia senator says Cagle expected big funding by passing bill 


About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.