Sen. Burr Introduces Bill to Increase Employment of Military Spouses

Tax incentive encourages greater opportunity for employers, employees

Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Military Spouse Employment Act, legislation that will encourage employers to hire qualified military spouses by expanding the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to include military families.

"Military spouses are among our nation's most valuable assets," Senator Burr said. "These men and women are already sacrificing for our country, and we can't let the hard facts of military life like relocations get in the way of their career and financial support for their families. By encouraging employers to hire military spouses, this tax incentive results in big returns with just a small investment."

The Senator introduced this bill in light of recent studies that show that military spouses traditionally earn less income and have higher unemployment rates than their civilian counterparts due to frequent relocations. Using the WOTC would allow an employer to claim a tax credit of 40% of the first $6,000 in wages paid during the worker's first year of employment.

This legislation has the support of the Military Coalition, an alliance representing 5.5 million members in 35 organizations including AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Military Officers Association of America. Representative John Carter (R-TX) introduced the House version of the bill (H.R. 4764) in March 2010.