Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill to provide tax relief to employers who hire unemployed veterans. House Bill 33, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2016, provides tax credits to employers who hire honorably discharged military veterans who have served on active duty on or after 9/11 and who have been unemployed for at least six months.
“We owe the men and women who defend our freedom a debt of gratitude,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Veterans make excellent employees and bring a unique skill set to the table. This bill will serve those who have served us by helping connect more of these men and women with job opportunities.”
House Bill 33 was authored by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.
“Our veterans make huge sacrifices to provide us with the freedoms we enjoy,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “We love our veterans. We are also serious about job creation. Through this bill, we bring together our love for veterans and hopefully create more job opportunities for them.”
The bill provides a five-year tax credit of either 10 percent of the hired veteran’s salary or $2,000, whichever is greater. It applies to military veterans who have served on active duty on or after 9/11 and who have been unemployed for at least six months, including Guard and Reserve who have served on active duty during the current war.
“The majority of our National Guard men and women are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some have experienced employment challenges resulting from these deployments,” said Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, the adjutant general of Mississippi. “House Bill 33 would provide welcomed assistance for our soldiers, airmen and their families.”
Estimates indicate more than 23,000 post-9/11 veterans live in Mississippi.
“Employment opportunity, and the sustained ability to provide for themselves and their families, is a top priority for our returning veterans,” said Randy Reeves, executive director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board. “HB 33 helps create employment opportunity for Mississippi veterans by encouraging employers to hire these skilled professionals. That’s a win-win.”
In 2013, Gov. Phil Bryant announced Pledge to Hire Mississippi Heroes. Through this effort, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security works with companies to identify veterans as candidates for job opportunities. More than 160 companies have signed the pledge.
Gov. Phil Bryant Press Release