Republican state Sen. Rene Garcia and freshman Democratic state Rep. Daisy Baez have filed a bill that would give small businesses a tax credit for hiring veterans.
The legislation (SB 152) would establish the Veterans Employment Small Business Grant Program, which would give a one-time $3,000 tax credit to businesses for each veteran hired, and a $5,000 credit for each disabled veteran hired.
The House version of the bill had not been filed as of Tuesday afternoon.
“This legislation would serve as a win for both Florida’s small businesses and its veterans,” Garcia said. “If we are going to call ourselves the most veteran-friendly state in the nation, we must give our armed servicemen and women every opportunity to succeed in their post-service life and in their careers.”
Baez, an Army veteran, said service members “give everything to serve this nation and deserve our support and commitment,” adding that the bill would also help small businesses and the state’s economy.
The bill caps the total amount of tax credits a business can receive from the program at $25,000 a year and doesn’t hand out the tax credit until the veteran has been working in the job for at least a year.
Additionally, the program requires the new hire’s pay to be at least 80 percent of the median income for Florida veterans.
Florida has the third-highest veteran population of any state behind California and Texas, with about 1.6 million veterans. More than a sixth of Florida veterans have a service connected disability.