Singleton, Tucker, Mosquera & Benson Bill to Encourage Employers to Hire Veterans Clears Committee

‘Battlefield to Boardroom Act’ Would Provide Tax Credits for Hiring Former Service Members

Legislation Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Cleopatra Tucker, Gabriela Mosquera and Daniel Benson sponsored to encourage employers to hire veterans of recent active military service was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

“Veterans know how to lead a team, complete a task under pressure and do a job with a sense of pride,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “These honorable men and women would be excellent contributors in the civilian workplace, so encouraging employers to consider them when hiring truly benefits all parties involved.”

The bill (A-305), “The New Jersey Battlefield to Boardroom Act,” would provide a corporation business tax credit and gross income tax credit for qualified wages of certain veterans. The two credits established by this bill would provide an employer with a credit in the amount of 10 percent of the wages paid to a veteran. The credits may not exceed $1,200 for each qualified veteran per tax year.

“The idea that veterans come home and have trouble finding long-term employment is unacceptable,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “New Jersey must do everything in its power to ensure that those who served can provide for themselves and their families as civilians.”

“For veterans, a major part of a successful transition to civilian life is securing a good job,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Given veterans’ work ethic, proficiency with advanced technology and ability to solve tough problems under tough conditions, a tax incentive is just another item on a long list of benefits to hiring former service members in New Jersey.”

“Our society has a collective obligation to make sure that all New Jersey veterans have opportunities to thrive in the civilian workforce,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Offering employers an incentive to hire veterans will give them even more of a reason to consider hiring some of the best men and women in our state.”

The bill defines a qualified veteran as a resident of New Jersey initially hired by the taxpayer on or after January 1, 2007 who has been honorably discharged or released from active service, occurring on or after January 1, 1990 in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.

To qualify for the credit, the bill imposes a series of conditions on a taxpayer as an employer:

  • For a tax year that the credit is claimed, 25 percent of the taxpayer’s new employees must be qualified veterans;
  • For tax years immediately subsequent to a prior credit year, 50 percent of the qualified veterans hired in that prior tax year must remain employed by the taxpayer;
  • The employer must provide veteran support services and regular recruitment efforts to hire qualified veterans and their nuclear family members;
  • Employers must comply with the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the provision of privileges in excess of the rights protected by that act.

The bill also contains provisions aimed at preventing potential misuse of the credit. The bill prohibits taxpayers from simultaneously using the wages or employment of a veteran to qualify for this credit and any other generally available employment incentive that comes in the form of a New Jersey tax credit or grant. The director of the Division of Taxation would be permitted to recapture credit, plus an additional 50 percent penalty, if it is determined that an employer has wrongly taken advantage of the credit.

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, of which Tucker is chair.