Jason Browder, second from right, awaits guidance from Louise Wood as she reviews the former active-duty Air Force senior airman's application submitted at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair June 23, 2011, in New York City. U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Lindsey

Tax credit to help veteran unemployment

Although the national unemployment rate continues to decrease slightly, the unemployment number for veterans keeps climbing. In effort to reduce the veterans unemployment rate, Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, recently introduced the Tax Credit to Hire Veterans Act (VOW) of 2011 (H.R. 2443) - a piece of legislation that would complement the Veteran Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 (H.R. 2433).

The VOW Act would provide small businesses, including veteran-owned businesses, who hire unemployed veterans with a tax credit toward capital equipment purchases.

"Unemployment is a huge issue with The American Legion, especially with the high numbers of servicemembers returning from overseas," said Joe Sharpe, director of the Legion's Economic Division. "We definitely support legislation that addresses those issues and helps our veterans find gainful employment."

With the tax credit being a win-win situation for both veterans and small businesses, Miller foresees a reduction in veteran unemployment to below 5 percent within the next two years. However, to ensure that the hiring of veterans is genuine and the tax credit is not being abused, the legislation features several protection laws.

A legislative hearing on the VOW Act will be held on July 15, 2011 at 10 a.m. For more information, please click here.