VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) came to Sundae Scoop in Kempsville Friday morning to talk about making tax time easier to swallow for veterans in Virginia.

He served ice cream from behind the counter to those who’ve served their country and says the objective of the tax reform is to retain more veterans in the Commonwealth.

“When someone is posted here, and finishes up their active duty in Virginia, I want them to start the next chapter of their life right here in Virginia,” Youngkin said. “So we want to make sure they’re not overtaxed, so up to $40,000 of the retirement benefits are not taxed at the state level. It’s hugely important.”

The new tax law also removes a minimum age for veteran tax relied that had been 55.

When shop owner and Army vet Philip Harrell started the business two years ago, he was looking for any financial break in sight.

“Everyone likes ice cream,” Harrell said. “You can’t get more bipartisan than ice cream.”

The tax relief, he said, goes a long way.

“We had to leverage everything to open this business,” Harrell said. “So any kind of help we can get for this business is super important.”

And lower taxes after active duty will lead to more younger veterans with vital skill sets staying here.

“Whether it’s helping build a wind turbine facility or the Hampton Roads Bridge tunnel, or ship building industries, we really need those folks here in Virginia,” said Brad Williamson with the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation.

Ice cream is always a good incentive to get veterans to stick around. But so is giving back more of their money at tax time.

“We’re seeing it happen, we’re seeing vets stay, we want them to stay,” Youngkin said. “They make our communities better.”