State Assemblyman Robert C. Oaks (R-Macedon) is welcoming the recent Assembly and Senate passage of Patriot Plan II, legislation that would expand benefits for military personnel and their families. The plan, which includes a package of tax and other benefits that builds on the enactment of last year’s historic Patriot Plan, is expected to be signed into law by Gov. George Pataki.
According to Oaks, Patriot Plan II is designed to ease the financial and other burdens placed on fellow New Yorkers who are called up to active duty in the National Guard and Reserves. The package includes tax exemptions and deadline extensions, college tuition award eligibility expansions and increased pay for New York state military personnel.
"The passage of Patriot Plan II is extremely important to the men and women serving in our armed forces. This plan will make sure that those who are protecting us will be protected right here at home," Oaks said.
Among the benefits New Yorkers in the National Guard and Reserves will be eligible to receive are:
- State tax exemptions when they are engaged in any state activity
- An Increase in the per diem pay rate from $100 to $125 for state active duty
- Extensions on certain deadlines for filing tax returns
- Tuition awards and extension of the time period for applying to Sept. 1, 2006.
The original Patriot Plan that was approved during the 2003 legislative session provided over a dozen benefits for New York military personnel and their families, including protection against discrimination in housing and employment, caps on loan obligations, automatic extensions of driver licenses and vehicle registrations, and allowances to terminate auto leases in the event of activation.