Contact: Phil Oliva, (518) 455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tedisco, Assembly Minority Unveil "Patriot Plan IV" To Aid Military Personnel and Their Families
Initiative contains added benefits and tax breaks for New York's bravest

Assembly Minority Leader James N. Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) and his colleagues were joined today by Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Abrams and Sgt. Chris Paiser - members of the New York State Army National Guard - in unveiling Patriot Plan IV, a comprehensive package of legislation designed to provide new benefits and tax cuts for military personnel and their families.

Tedisco said the measure would provide New York's soldiers with several retirement benefits and tax credits, and make their dreams of home ownership easier and more affordable. The plan also contains provisions for child custody and benefits for surviving family members.

"Our brave men and women serving overseas risk their lives each and every day to protect our freedoms," Tedisco said. "Patriot Plan IV offers them financial support and peace of mind as they continue to fight America's war on terror. As a lawmaker, I pledge to ensure that our fine military personnel receive the aid, protections and support to which they are entitled. I urge my legislative colleagues to take swift action on this important initiative."

Over the past several years, the Legislature has passed and Governor Pataki has signed into law Patriot Plans I, II and III, which offered a sweeping array of protections and financial assistance to New York's troops. Patriot Plan IV supplements those measures by adding more programs to help ease the burdens placed on New York's Armed Forces.

"I know first-hand how difficult it is to be halfway around the world, constantly concerned for your own safety, but still worried about things back home," said Assemblyman Roy J. McDonald (R,C,I-Wilton), a Vietnam veteran who initiated the first three Patriot Plans. "Each successive version of the Patriot Plan goes a little bit further toward ensuring the peace of mind of those who so selflessly and honorably defend our freedom."

"It is critical that we let our service men and women around the world know how much we appreciate the sacrifices they have made to protect our country," said Assemblyman Chris Ortloff (R,C,I - Plattsburgh), a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran. "Patriot Plan IV assures our troops and their families that they will get the help they need on the home front."

"It's extremely important that our state legislators recognize the importance of ensuring our military personnel, returning veterans, and their families have the necessary benefits and services they are entitled to so they can carry on with their lives and continue to have a high standard of living," said Abrams. "We in New York are extremely lucky to have Assemblymen Tedisco and McDonald, who constantly recognize the needs of our veterans and our families, and are always up-front in guaranteeing and protecting our benefits."

"I am impressed by the amount of care and respect that the Assembly Minority Conference is showing to both active duty soldiers and the National Guard," Paiser said.

Patriot Plan IV

  • Patriot Family Support Fund - Creates a tax-exempt "Patriot Family Support Fund" donation on New York State Income Tax returns.

  • Performance Duty Disability Retirement Benefits - Provides performance of duty disability retirement benefits for state and local government employees who are members of the military or reserves and are injured in combat.

  • Wage Tax Credits - Establishes a wage tax credit for businesses that employ members of the National Guard and reserves and for businesses that comply with the USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) reemployment requirements.

  • Unemployment Insurance Waiver - Waives business unemployment insurance increases due to members of the National Guard and reserves who are ordered to federal or state active duty for more than 30 days.

  • Exempt Military Pay Subject to State Income Tax - Exempts federal active duty income from state taxes for permanent state residents who maintain a permanent address in New York State and served on federal active duty outside the state for 90 or more days during the tax year; maintain a permanent place of abode outside the state for the entire tax year; or, maintain an abode in New York other than their permanent address while serving on federal active duty orders.

  • Property Tax Exemptions - Allows additional official military documentation other than the DD-214 to be eligible for the Veterans Real Property Tax Exemption.

  • Home Loan Guarantee - Expands the federal home loan guarantee for VA qualified state National Guard and reserve veterans by providing a state tax credit for the extra .75 percent difference in funding fee charges between VA active duty veterans and eligible guard and reserve veterans.

  • Affordable Home Ownership for Disabled Veterans - Makes the Affordable Home Ownership Development Program available to home buyers who are service related disabled veterans.

  • Veterans Assisted Forward Commitment Mortgages - Authorizes SONYMA to purchase Veterans Assisted Forward Commitment Loans from banks offering low down payments and low interest rates.

  • Veterans Home, Rehabilitation and Land Ownership Assistance Loans - Authorizes the state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to provide home purchase and rehabilitation loans of up to 20 percent of the value of the home to honorably discharged veterans. Provides up to 20 percent of the value of a home for rehabilitation and repair or up to $40,000 for the purchase of unimproved real property.

  • Child Custody and Divorce Proceedings - Ensures that a military parent's deployment would not be a factor in a child custody determination when a suitable child care plan is presented.

  • NYS National Guard/Reserve Education Benefits for Surviving Family Members - Provides free tuition, room and board at SUNY and CUNY schools for survivors of state military personnel who die on state or federal active duty.

  • Military Medics and NYS EMT Qualifications - Allows those who have completed the Army's Advanced Individual Training course for Combat Medic, Navy Corpsman training for Field Medical Service Technician or Air Force Para-Rescue to be granted certification as EMTs in New York State.

New York State Assembly
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