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State offers thousands of dollars in tax benefits for businesses hiring post-9/11 veterans

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Businesses will receive a large break in their taxes by hiring unemployed post-9/11 military veterans, with a new credit pushed this week by the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

According to the governor’s office, businesses will receive a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the total wages paid to the veteran during the person’s first full year of employment, up to $5,000.

The amount will go up to 15 percent of the veteran hire’s wages if the new hire is disabled, with that credit capped at $15,000.

The new credit is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Peter J. Fazio, director of the Jefferson County Veterans Service Agency, said that the money could make a difference for businesses thinking about the bottom line.

“Anything the government does to not only encourage an employer to consider a veteran but to seek out a veteran is a good thing,” he said. “If a person’s working everybody benefits.”

The governor’s office said that unemployment stood at about 10 percent for post-9/11 veterans, with the rate even higher for workers under the age of 25.

“All New Yorkers owe a special debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have served in the years since 9/11,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement announcing the credit. “There are approximately 75,000 post-9/11 veterans living in New York State today. These brave men and women served our country; now it’s our turn to help them get back to work.”

Mr. Fazio said that for many veterans, the transition from their time in uniform, in which much of their activity is regimented, into the less regulated civilian world can create challenges.

“It’s a tough transition,” Mr. Fazio said. “Finding a job is one of the toughest jobs during that transition.”

Charles D. Coulter, of The Vets Peer-to-Peer Outreach Center, said that veterans attempting to find work can run into problems relating their military experience into civilian careers, and may also lack the education levels sought by employers.

“They want to work,” he said.

To receive the credit, the state is requiring employers to hire the veteran for at least 35 hours per week for at least a year, provided the new hire was not employed for 35 hours or more per week in any week during the preceding 180 days.

The state also said that a business cannot receive the credit if it lets go a current employee in order to hire the veteran.

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