ST. PAUL, Minn – The Senate took a big step forward on Monday toward encouraging veteran hiring across the state of Minnesota. A provision that creates a $2,500 tax credit for businesses that hire veterans is aimed at lowering veteran unemployment rates. The state’s 370,000 veterans are finding work at better rates now than even a year ago, but their unemployment rates remain stubbornly higher than the state average of 3.7 percent. Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) chief authored the legislation that was included in this year’s Senate Tax Bill.
“This is an issue I’ve worked on for several years because I feel passionately that our veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve helped fight to protect our freedoms. Providing hiring tax incentives is the least we can do to help these former soldiers find work,” said Sen. Wiger.
Currently, the unemployment rate for veterans who served post 9/11 is at 5 percent, down from 8.8 percent a year ago. Not only does Wiger’s bill incentivize businesses to hire under and unemployed veterans, but disabled veterans as well. While similar tax relief measures exist at the federal level, this bill would represent the boldest step in Minnesota to encourage private-sector veteran hiring.
This bill also enjoys bipartisan support, Rep. Anna Wills (R-Apple Valley) has chief authored the bill in the House. The bill is listed as one of the top legislative priorities for the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC) and the Military Action Group (MAG), two veterans’ organizations that advocate for veterans issues at the Capitol.
For more information on the Veterans Hiring Tax Credit bill or any other legislative concerns, Sen. Wiger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling his office at (651) 296-6820.