posted by: Sen. Richard Burr
Military spouses are often forced to seek new employment when their military husband or wife is relocated. Such frequent moves can threaten or even derail the spouse's career path. In fact, recent studies have found that military spouses traditionally earn less income and have higher unemployment rates than their civilian counterparts due to such frequent relocations.
For these reasons, I introduced a bill yesterday called the Military Spouse Employment Act, which would encourage employment of military spouses through a tax credit for their employers. Representative John Carter (R-TX) introduced the House version of this bill in March.
This legislation expands the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to include military families. WOTC is a federal tax credit which reduces taxes on private-for-profit employers, and has been a powerful tool in promoting employment. Should my bill become law, employers of military spouses would be able to claim a tax credit of 40% of the first $6,000 in wages paid during the worker's first year of employment.
Military spouses play an important role in the mental and physical health of our men and women in uniform. Their willingness to move when their spouse is relocated provides members of our military the support they need to do their jobs. We should seek to lessen the consequences of the sacrifices they are already making to serve our country, and I believe that this bill is a step in the right direction.