Gov. Abbott's New Plan Helps Veterans Take Part in the Texas Success Story

When a young man or woman joins the armed forces, they are making the difficult decision to put their civilian life on hold to serve this country. For many, the return to civilian life is seamless. However, others face significant challenges, including finding the financial security they need to put a roof over their head and food on the table.As someone who has served, I can tell you that veterans aren’t looking for a handout. Instead, they want the opportunity to find a good-paying job, support their family, and contribute to the economy.Fortunately, Gov. Greg Abbott doesn’t just talk about helping veterans; he does it. His new Front of the Line plan provides a strategy to help veterans find economic success throughout Texas.The challenge we face isn’t a lack of job opportunities. The D-FW economy continues to experience remarkable growth as small businesses thrive and companies from around the globe flock to our region. The challenge is ensuring that veterans have greater access to those job opportunities. Abbott’s plan would achieve this by encouraging more businesses to hire veterans.Specifically, Abbott would provide local governments with an option to give property tax relief to businesses that hire veterans. This option would qualify businesses for a $15,000 reduction on the appraised taxable value of their commercial property for each veteran newly hired for a full-time job. This is a win-win strategy that would help unemployed veterans find a job, while helping businesses grow.Abbott has already helped ease the process for many veterans looking for work by waiving certain occupational licensing fees and requirements. Now, he is fighting to take that a step further by throwing his support behind veteran and military spouses.As veterans, we know the sacrifices our spouses make when we choose to join the armed forces. They uproot their lives and move to different parts of the country and the world. But for many, this doesn’t stop them from pursuing their own career. Unfortunately, they must go through training and pay excessive fees to earn an occupational license to continue their career in Texas.Abbott’s plan would help alleviate this burden by amending Texas law to waive local fees and provide licensing reciprocity for veteran and military spouses who hold a substantially equivalent license from another jurisdiction. As Texans, it is comforting to know that we have a governor who understands this and has a plan to help veteran and military spouses.The Front of the Line plan also puts forth a strategy to boost veteran entrepreneurship by providing tax relief to veteran-owned businesses. Abbott is proposing an option for local governments to give up to $30,000 in tax relief for a veteran-owned business during their first five years of operation. This program would provide a jump-start for veterans here in Dallas and across Texas who are working to get their businesses off the ground.Returning to civilian life can be a challenge for many veterans. When it comes to finding a job, they have the skills and the drive to succeed. All they need is greater access to the economic opportunities that exist throughout Texas, which is what Abbott is proposing. This plan will help veterans achieve the American dream that they fought to defend.Mike Thornton, a Dallas resident, is a Vietnam veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. He wrote this for The Dallas Morning News. Website:  Continue reading...

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