BOISE, Idaho -

 Idaho Representatives took exception to exempting veterans from paying taxes on their retirement benefits on concern such a move would unfairly single out one group for favorable treatment.

The House Monday voted 35-31 against carving out perks for veterans, when other early retirees -- firefighters, among them -- could make similar arguments they also deserve a break.

Boise Rep. Hy Kloc, a Democrat, acknowledged it was tough to vote against a bill for military veterans, but said the measure set a poor economic precedent.

Rep. Kathleen Sims, a Coeur d'Alene Republican, had been pushing the bill to give military members this tax break.

If Idaho became a tax haven for ex-military, Sims conjectured, hard-working people who often start a second career after leaving the service might come in droves.