ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Retired veterans living in Minnesota are getting a big break on this year's taxes.

That's because Minnesota's Legislature approved a measure last year that exempted military pension payments from the state income tax. Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner General Larry Shellito and a key Republican lawmaker held a news conference Wednesday to remind veterans about the new benefit.

Rep. Bob Dettmer helped pass the tax break last year after more than a decade of efforts. Dettmer says it should save the state's 19,000 retired veterans a total of $23 million this year.

Retired veterans must file a special form with their taxes to claim the benefit. The deadline for filing taxes is Tuesday.

Shellito says he hopes the tax help makes Minnesota even friendlier for retiring veterans.