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Malliotakis Leads Bipartisan Group in Calling on Potus to Designate Kenya A Combat Zone, Lift Taxes on New York National Guardsmen

Government and Politics

December 19, 2022


Malliotakis Leads Bipartisan Group in Calling on Potus to Designate Kenya A Combat Zone, Lift Taxes on New York National Guardsmen

(WASHINGTON, DC) - Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Congresswoman Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06) led a bipartisan letter to President Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin calling on the Administration to formally designate Kenya a combat zone to allow a group of New York National Guardsmen stationed in the region as part of Task Force Wolfhound to receive Combat Zone Tax Exclusions (CZTE).

Task Force Wolfhound is operating in the countries of Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. While both Djibouti and Somalia carry the Department of Defense designation as a combat zone which qualifies military personnel assigned to these countries to CZTE, Kenya does not have this designation. This means Soldiers facing the same regional threats as their peers are not eligible to receive the federal, state, or local income tax-exempt status as other members of the task force.

"For Djibouti and Somalia to be designated as combat zones, while Kenya, a nation plagued by terror attacks on behalf of the Al-Shabaab militant group is not, is placing New York’s National Guard Soldiers in harm’s way and allowing them to be taxed on the income that they receive while defending American freedom and values," the members wrote. "The U.S. Department of State fully prohibits U.S. government employees from traveling to sections of Kenya due to the level of concern for terrorist attacks. If the United States can prohibit our government employees from traveling to these regions due to the dangers associated with the area, how is this same area not recognized as a combat zone for our military personnel?"

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