Schumer pushes to extend tax credit
With more than 2,600 unemployed veterans in the Capital Region, one senator tries to extend a year-old tax credit that gives area businesses incentive to hire them. Our Erin Vannella reports.
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MENANDS, N.Y. -- "I gave up," said veteran Tony Ellis. "I had a suicide attempt because I was just so depressed. I couldn't find work and I got to the VA and they put me through the programs and helped me get back on my feet."
Five months strong at Focused Technologies, Tony Ellis beat the odds of unemployment. More than 2600 of his fellow veterans in the capital region are looking for work.
"First couple months I was having a problem transitioning because I was really looking to do more," said Ellis. "I had to learn to slow down and work at their pace."
Company owner Chuck Tobin hired Ellis and ten other veterans to help them and himself since in the past year he's gotten up to $9,600 per vet hire and saved $27,000 all through the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit.
"The veterans that we hire seem to have a natural ability to lead and they take initiative," said Focused Technologies Founding Owner Chuck Tobin. "That's really the difference between the veterans and some of the other people that we've hired."
But that tax break expires at the end of this year and Senator Charles Schumer, recognizing its success at Focused Technologies, visited the plant Monday to plug an extension.
"The first year it was enacted everyone wanted to see if it would work," said Senator Charles Schumer. "It's clearly worked and we should keep it going for a longer period of time."
Schumer said the credit will be part of the Senate tax extenders package on the September docket. Until then Ellis stays hopeful. If it takes a tax incentive to hire he said, may his and others' work prove its worth.
"You just have to swallow some of that pride because it's tough out there right now and there are people in the VA system that can help us get back on our feet," said Ellis.