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Bill Approved In City Council Committee Hopes To Coax Philly Employers To Hire More Vets

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia officials are looking to expand the tax credit that goes to local companies that hire veterans.

Approved in City Council's Commerce Committee this past week was a bill that expands the current veterans hiring tax credit. Among those speaking was Mike Graber who directs the veteran's program at Impact Services, an employment assistance organization in Kensington.

"We don't want what happened after World War II, Korea and Vietnam to happen to these people today, our own people, our veterans. We don't want you to take us out to lunch. We don't want you to rub our back. We don't want you to baptize our baby. We want respect."

Graber said more employers need to understand that hiring vets encourages people to serve.

"You want people to enlist voluntarily -- it's an all-volunteer army. If you want people to volunteer for the armed forces, then do something for them when they get off active duty. Show the respect that they need and want deserve by giving them a job."

The measure, proposed by Councilman David Oh, does three things: it boosts the size of the tax credit from $2,000 per veteran hired to $5,000, it extends the expiration of the credit to the year 2020, and it adds reservists to those employees whose hiring would qualify for the credit.

The bill now goes to the full Council for a vote, mostly likely later this month.

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