With nearly 20 percent of recent Hudson Valley veterans under the age 30 looking for work, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today joined with Rep. John Hall (D-NY) and Hudson Valley veterans at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor to announce 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 recently-returned troops 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 Hudson Valley veterans are still coming home to a very bad job market and struggle 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 Hudson Valley veterans to work as they come home to their families so they can succeed in the economy."
The New York State Department of Labor indicates 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. Estimates based on this data and U.S. Census data show that nearly 9,500 Hudson Valley veterans are unemployed, with nearly 970 veterans under the age of 30 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.
Statewide, businesses have hired more than 500 New York veterans using the credit.
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.
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.