Some major tax breaks are now in place for military reservists serving in Georgia. The tax breaks are a big deal for families already having to deal with a loved one serving in Iraq.
The National Guard unit in Valdosta is like many others around the nation, constantly watching as local men and woman are called into active duty for missions in the Middle East.
The time apart is tough for these families.
"He's my best friend and we discussed everything, and now I'm doing it all on my own."
But thanks to the Georgia General Assembly, their tax burden won't be as tough because lawmakers have agreed to exempt the first $10,000 of non-military income for every reservist family.
Gwendloyn Tippins says, "It's a help. It helps us with our income, you know. It's a great help that we needed and I thank God for them passing this bill."
Heidi Shelley, the wife of a Guardsman, says, "It’s kind of tough coming from the civilian world, then moving into full time military. For us, there's been a large pay difference and we're hoping the tax relief will help in the long run."
Also included in the new law is a measure for the state to pay the life insurance premiums for all active duty Guardsmen. Families say because local reservists will spend so much time overseas, this tax relief should be considered next year as well.
Tressie Mobley says, "They should [continue it] because our Guardsmen are supposed to be over there for a year, up to a year and a half, so they should continue this as long as they are over there."
The tax relief program enjoyed unanimous support in Georgia's General Assembly and it will become law unless Gov. Sonny Perdue decides to veto it.