With unemployment among young veterans in New York nearly 20 percent, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is announcing a new effort to make tax credits for businesses that hire recent veterans permanent. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit that Senator Gillibrand helped establish last year encourages businesses to hire veterans who have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in exchange for a 40 percent credit on the first $6,000 paid to a veteran. The tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year.
"Too many veterans are still coming home to a very bad job market and struggling to find work," Senator Gillibrand said. "They fulfilled their duty to our country, and now it's time for us to fulfill our duty to them by making sure they have access to a good-paying job. The tax breaks we put in place are a win-win for businesses and veterans, and now we need to make them permanent so we can continue supporting businesses, create jobs, and put more of our veterans to work as they come home to their families so they can succeed in the economy."
New estimates based on data from the New York State Department of Labor and the U.S. Census indicate that nearly 20 percent of veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed, and more than 7 percent of all veterans across New York State are unemployed. Nearly 8,000 New York veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In New York City, nearly 2,000 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In Western New York, nearly 900 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In the Rochester/Finger Lakes Region, nearly 560 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In Central New York, nearly 800 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In the Southern Tier, approximately 465 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In the Capital Region, more than 900 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In the North Country, more than 560 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* In the Hudson Valley, nearly 870 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
* On Long Island, approximately 665 veterans under the age of 30 are unemployed.
Jobs for Veterans, Tax Cuts for Businesses
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Senator Gillibrand helped pass last year expanded the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to include new incentives for businesses to hire returning veterans, and extended them through the end of 2010. To raise awareness of the tax credit, Senator Gillibrand has been working closely with local Chambers of Commerce across New York State to encourage their member businesses use the tax credit, and hire New York veterans returning home.
In return for hiring a veteran, businesses may write off 40 percent of the first $6,000 paid to a veteran. The veteran needs to be out of the service for no more than five years. Already more than 500 veterans across New York have been hired using the credit. Extending the credit would enable more returning veterans an opportunity to find work as the economy improves and help those businesses who've committed to hiring our recent veterans.
The Defense Department would also be required to issue information about the tax credit to exiting service members, and provide documentation to demonstrate their eligibility for the credit.
To continue supporting businesses as they work to grow and create jobs, Senator Gillibrand is now working to make this tax credit permanent so all veterans will have better opportunities for a good-paying job as they return home to their families.
Senator Gillibrand announced a full agenda last year to create jobs for recent veterans, support veteran entrepreneurs, and help homeless veterans get back on their feet.