WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama spoke from the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego during Veterans Day, and he called on all Americans to rededicate themselves to serving our brave men and women in uniform as well as they have served us. Today, there are more than 850,000 veterans unemployed, which is why the President issued a challenge to private companies to hire or train more than 100,000 post-9/11 veterans or their spouses by 2013, and he was pleased to see the Senate pass proposals in his American Jobs Act on Thursday to give businesses tax credits for hiring veterans. President Obama told veterans that just as they have fought for us, he will continue to fight for jobs and opportunities for them, and that the United States will always honor their service and sacrifice.
Category Archives: tax credits
This Veterans Day, it is time to recommit ourselves to helping every military family across the Garden State.
We need to help businesses help veterans and their spouses build careers, make sure that our schools are doing all they can to help military kids, and all of us need to do what we can to help military families in our local communities.
But truly honoring our veterans means providing jobs. It means job training, and giving every job opportunity possible to unemployed veterans.
In New Jersey we have 453,498 veterans — 12 percent of them are unemployed. That’s why I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act that gives businesses a tax credit for hiring returning veterans, and more of a tax credit if they hire a wounded veteran.
As our troops begin coming home from Iraq, our duty to them is not just remembering their service, not just saying thank you on Veterans Day, it’s delivering on the promise of a grateful nation every day.
New Jersey’s hero-sons-and-daughters did not wait to sign up to serve this country, and they should not have to wait to get the benefits they have earned defending it. And they should not have to come home only to stand on the unemployment line after putting themselves on the line serving this nation.
That’s why the Veterans jobs bill encourages employers to hire veterans, ensures that disabled veterans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits get the training and rehabilitation they need, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits they need and job assistance tailored to today’s job market.
The bill provides a competitive grant program for nonprofits that provide mentoring and training programs for vets. It allows employers to be paid for providing on-the-job training to veterans and it would provide Work Opportunity Tax Credits for businesses that hire veterans — and more for businesses that hire disabled vets.
We made a promise to veterans, and it’s a promise we must keep.
Happy Veterans Day to all.
May God bless our troops. And may God bless America.
WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama urged Congress to pass the American Jobs Act without delay so that businesses will be able to hire more workers and every American who wants a job will be able to find one. The President’s jobs bill keeps cops on the streets and teachers in the classrooms, cuts taxes for small businesses, and puts construction workers back to work without adding to the deficit. All Americans who agree with the President’s plan should call their elected officials and tell them that it’s time to pass the jobs bill, which will ensure that everyone pays their fair share and that we live within our means as we help the economy continue to grow.
>Ahead of the elections, the President says no matter what happens both parties must work together to boost the economy, and expresses concern about statements to the contrary from Republican Leaders.
>NJPP Monday Minute 9/6/10: Having your cake and financing it too State awards cake baker for Christie inauguration a BEIP grant
Earlier this year, Gov. Christie suspended New Jersey’s film tax credit for the fiscal year 2011 – a reasonable move given the staggering budget situation that the state faced. The movie and TV industries protested. Actors, producers, lobbyists and small business owners testified against eliminating the credit.1 When lawmakers passed a budget without the credit, NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit moved its production back to New York.2
But the governor’s elimination of the film tax credit did not stop the state from favoring another television production with a $45,000 grant from New Jersey’s flagship business subsidy, the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP). The recipient of the state’s largesse: Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, the subject of TLC’s reality show “Cake Boss, ” and the bakery that supplied the cake for Governor Christie’s January inauguration. The Star-Ledger reported that the inauguration cake was donated and would retail for about $15,000. The cake was a twin-bed sized diorama of New Jersey sights including an edible version of the Goldman Sachs tower in Jersey City – ironic since the real version of this tower has benefitted from multiple BEIP grants.
In April, in a decision that received no press coverage, the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved the BEIP grant to Carlo’s Bakery Inc., the owners of which operate Carlo’s City Hall Bakery. The Cake Boss wanted the state’s help in opening an additional cake and dessert manufacturing facility to accommodate increasing customer and restaurant demand. It plans to hire 30 new workers who would be paid an average annual salary of $35,000.
When the application was approved, no location had been selected. The bakery owners said the new facility does not need to be near its original Hoboken bakery. If the Cake Boss were to locate his additional facility in one of the state’s municipalities where economic development is most encouraged, such as Jersey City, Newark, Paterson or New Brunswick, the grant could increase from the estimated $45,000 to $144,000.
The funding for the BEIP subsidy comes from the state income taxes paid by the new employees. Instead of the state using these tax collections entirely for property tax relief as the income tax was intended to be used, the state returns a portion to the employer. That amount is based on a number of factors, including location, and can be as much as 80 percent of income tax withheld. Since its inception in 1996, the BEIP subsidy has paid out $856.4 million in grants to businesses, according to the EDA.
There has been much fanfare regarding the restoration of a few programs that serve vulnerable people in the FY 2011 budget. But make no mistake; the budget expected to pass the Legislature today requires the greatest sacrifice from vulnerable working families hit hardest by the recession.
Let’s put the restorations in perspective. They amount to about $68 million, not including PAAD which was restored in an earlier separate agreement, in a budget which would spend just over $28 billion. As the governor’s chief of staff pointed out, these restorations amount to only about two-tenths of a percent (.02%) of the total state budget. He thought that was a good thing.
The Anti-Poverty Network indentified 26 programs (see list below) that were cut in the Christie budget that primarily affect the most vulnerable: low and moderate income families; the elderly; and people with disabilities. The list is conservative in that it does not include program cuts to items such as transportation and education, which serve mostly middle class and higher income groups as well as large numbers of low income people. The budget restorations only fund seven of those programs, leaving $262 million in program cuts to the most vulnerable.
The largest restoration was in General Assistance, which provides temporary financial assistance to unemployed adults without children. The Christie budget would have eliminated the entire $140 a month stipend, which is often the only source of income they have. The Legislature and the governor are to be commended for at least partially restoring this vital safety net program.
However, the administration did not restore cuts to the two largest programs that help vulnerable families remain independent. State and federal funding for New Jersey FamilyCare, which provides affordable health insurance for children and certain low income parents or guardians, was reduced by about $100 million. Enrollment has already been closed for parents with incomes between 133 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($24,352 to $36,620 for a parent with two children). This cut will be continued in FY 2011 resulting in 39,000 uninsured parents being denied health insurance at the same time many employers are dropping health coverage. Also, about 11,700 legal immigrant parents who have been in this country less than five years and currently receive health insurance through FamilyCare will lose their coverage altogether.
The state Earned Income Tax Credit was cut by $45 million, which will in effect increase taxes for 485,000 lower income households. At the same time, the governor refused to continue higher tax rates on those in the uppermost brackets, households with more than $400,000 in annual income. About 77 percent of the households that received the state EITC are working families with children. A parent earning the minimum wage in a full time job ($15,000) with two children will see his or her taxes increase by $300 as a result of this action. Taxes for wealthy households, on the other hand, will be cut by thousands of dollars.
It is also disturbing that the governor has opposed legislation which would restore the funds for the state EITC, if federal funds become available specifically for this purpose. Congress appears likely to act on legislation that would make $120 million in emergency contingency funds available to New Jersey without costing the state a dime. But the administration has rejected a budget resolution from Sen. Shirley Turner which would require that if such funds become available in FY 2011 they would be used to restore the state EITC cutback.
While the budget treats each of these programs separately, the cutbacks will have a cumulative impact on vulnerable families. Virtually all of the families that will lose or be denied health coverage in FamilyCare will also have the state EITC reduced. Many of these same families will also be denied vital supports like family planning, school breakfast, legal services, and affordable housing. None of the cuts in these programs have been restored in this budget. The combined effect on some families will be devastating and have long term consequences for them and the state’s economy.
Attempts are being made to restore some of these funds to vulnerable families in separate legislation. Senator Loretta Weinberg has introduced a bill to restore funding for family planning and Senator Joseph Vitale and Assemblyman Lou Greenwald have bills to restore funding for FamilyCare. If these bills pass the legislature, however, the governor is likely to veto these bills, as he did when the legislature passed a millionaires’ tax increase a month ago.
What some see as fiscal conservatism might be seen by others as plain mean-spiritedness.
It would appear that the deal on the FY 2011 budget is final but the fight to protect and support struggling working families in this high cost state must continue.
Reiterating once again his commitment to small business as the engine of our economy, the President urges Congress to move forward immediately on steps to help them expand and create jobs. These proposals include using $30 billion in TARP funds to create a new Small Business Lending Fund to provide capital to community banks to increase lending to small businesses, offering a new tax credit for over one million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages, and providing targeted support for the most innovative small businesses with the potential to export new goods and products.