Delaware is now rewarding employers who hire recent combat veterans with a tax credit.
Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del, signed House Bill 275 into law on Tuesday. The measure establishes a tax credit that equals 10 percent of a qualified veteran’s gross wages, up to a maximum of $1,500. According to the bill, a “qualified veteran” is anyone who has served in a hostile environment, like Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There are a lot of folks coming back from Iraq, Afghanistan, they’re not having success in the workplace as they might have had in prior years,” said Gov. Markell. “We need to find a way to say thank you beyond just words and I think, you know, really helping them find jobs is an important way to do that.”
The governor’s office says the unemployment rate among veterans who have served since 2001 has consistently remained higher than the national average. As recently as January 2011, the unemployment rate for recently returning veterans was 15.2 percent. The January 2012 national unemployment rate among recently returning veterans was 9.1 percent, still well above the national average of 8.3 percent.
The governor signed the bill at JPMorgan Chase Card Services in downtown Wilmington. Last year, the bank launched its 100,000 Jobs Mission, with the goal of hiring 100,000 returning service members by 2020. “First” ran a story about the program in March, one year after its launch. You can watch the story below.
“This is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Gov. Markell. “This is the right thing to do for these businesses. The skills that our people develop when they are in training, when they serve overseas are absolutely incredible.”
Andrew Camponelli is an army veteran who flies Blackhawk helicopters for the Delaware National Guard. He is also a recent hire at JPMorgan Chase.
“Obviously there was gonna be some learning experiences coming from a cockpit of a UH-60 to, you know, financial securities, but, you know, JPMorgan has an excellent training program, an excellent support group for the new military hires as well — it’s been quite honestly a pretty easy and successful transition.”
Employers may take the credit in the year the veteran is hired and the two subsequent tax years.