Lawmaker Proposes Tax Credit for Hiring Unemployed Veterans

Jan 21, 2014

A state lawmaker who spent 20 years in the Marines wants to give a tax credit to firms that hire unemployed veterans. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer has details.


The proposal by Rep. Sonny Borrelli would give a one-time, dollar-for-dollar credit — up to $2,000 — for each veteran taken off the unemployment rolls. The credit would be double that for a disabled vet. Borrelli said he’s not sure how many unemployed veterans there are right now in Arizona. But, he said more are coming.

“With the downsizing of the military and the drawdowns of these conflicts overseas we’re going to get 200,000 vets going to be discharged in one year. So how many of them are going to come to Arizona? Maybe 10,000,” Borrelli said.

That means his legislation carries a potential $20 million price tag. But, there are other proposals this year that also would reduce state revenue. One of those is a plan by Gov. Jan Brewer to exempt manufacturers from having to pay state sales taxes on the electricity they buy, a move that also could cost the state $20 million. But, Borrelli said his proposal should not have to compete.

“Each bill needs to be considered on its own merit individually, not just lump them together,” Borrelli said. “That would be a disservice to each one of these bills ‘cause each one has a little twist to it here and there.”

Companies would have to pay at least the prevailing state wage to qualify, a figure somewhat north of $16 an hour.