The observance next week of Veterans Day gives us a chance to pause and offer thanks to the brave men and women who selflessly served to defend our country. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan wants to take that day of respect a little further by extending a law that temporarily offers a tax credit to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.
Hagan hopes to make permanent a law that initially passed as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors. The program offers a one-time tax credit of as much as $5,600 to companies for every long-term unemployed veteran they hire. A business can qualify for a tax credit of as much as $9,600 for each disabled veteran it hires.
The program in its temporary form has proved to be a win-win for businesses and veterans. In addition to the tax credits, companies receive the experience, training and maturity of an employee who has proven himself or herself under the most rigorous demands imaginable - often on literal battlefields. The veteran, meanwhile, gets a hand in bucking a troubling trend: The unemployment rate for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is more than 10 percent nationally.
The unemployment rate among veterans has declined since the temporary tax credit was enacted. Making the credit a permanent fixture will further encourage businesses and industries to hire the folks who have given so much for the freedom and security of the rest of us.
We wish the senator well in her quest. It’s hard to think of a more fitting way to treat our veterans.
— Rocky Mount Telegram