Casey tries again with measure to help vets with tax breaks

    In a nod to Memorial Day, Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. senator is reintroducing legislation to extend tax breaks to military veterans.

    Sen. Bob Casey says his proposal aims to help veterans or their spouses purchase franchises. They would be able to write off 25 percent of the franchise fee, or up to $100,000.

    Alisa Harrison, spokeswoman for the International Franchise Association, says veterans have a good track record in the business.

    “They make great owners,” she said. “They’re used to following a system. They really understand processes and that’s what the franchise model is all about.”

    Any tax credit aimed at veterans is welcome, said Tim Mesvre, director of the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center.

    “We see veterans here from the full gamut, all the way up to master’s degrees that are retired, senior NCOs and officers that are having a hard time finding work opportunities,” he said. “So anything Congress can do to make that better, to get those veterans back to work, would be a great thing.”

    Centers like his are facing a more immediate threat, Mesvre said, in the form of automatic federal spending cuts.

    He says they put job training and placement programs for vets at risk.

    The bill, which failed in the last Congress, has bipartisan support; Florida Republican Marco Rubio is a co-sponsor.

    The Franchise Association supported Casey’s bill last time he introduced it.

    Neither its spokesman nor Casey could point to a specific reason the bill failed.

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