Trenton – The Senate Commerce Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would provide corporation business tax and gross income tax credits to businesses that employ qualified ex-offenders.
The bill, S-1313, would permit the tax credits to equal 15 percent of an ex-offenders’ wages with a maximum amount of $900 per hired individual.
“Most returning citizens are returning to high-crime and drug-infested neighborhoods, making it easy for them to return to the life that led to incarceration in the first place when they cannot find work,” said Senator Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “This creates extra challenges for law enforcement and public safety and is unfair to the law-abiding residents who live in the community. Providing a tax credit to encourage employers to hire ex-offenders will create job opportunities for returning citizens in order to become productive, tax paying citizens. The cost of the credit is far less than the cost of incarceration.”
According to the Brookings Institute, in the first full calendar year after someone’s release, only 55 percent reported any earnings, with the median earnings being $10,090, which is below the NJ poverty line of $17,609.
The bill passed committee by a vote of 4-0.