COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Every year, thousands of Americans begin their military careers in South Carolina.

State leaders want them to return to South Carolina once that career is over.

Last week, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed the “Workforce Enhancement and Military Recognition Act” into law. The bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate this year.

It eliminates all state income tax on retired military pay. Previously, there was a partial exemption in South Carolina.

South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secretary William Grimsley said this is a ‘big win’ for South Carolina. The Palmetto State joined 35 other states in doing this.

He said this will help attract more retired military to South Carolina.

“People look at where they are going to get the best value for their dollars, whether they’re getting out of service before retirement or retiring. And this is a great defined benefit that many of us who have retired have earned,” Secretary Grimsley said.

According to the SC Department of Veterans’ Affairs, there are nearly 63,000 military retirees who call South Carolina home.

State officials estimate a full tax exemption for retired military income will total about $30 million in Fiscal Year 2022-2023.