Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) today stood with his Assembly minority colleagues in advocating for the veterans and military personnel benefits package known as Patriot Plan IV.
In each of the last three consecutive legislative sessions, the Assembly minority-sponsored Patriot Plan bills passed the state Legislature and were signed into law by Gov. George Pataki. Patriot Plan IV consists of proposals left out of previously enacted legislation. Like Patriot Plans I, II and III, the new measure is designed to provide tax relief and other benefits to military personnel serving our state and nation.
"This legislation would provide our brave veterans with the increased benefits they rightfully deserve," said Fitzpatrick. "I am very grateful for the sacrifices our service men and women have made, so it is important we grant them the benefits they have earned."
Patriot Plan IV consists of the following:
- Patriot Family Support Fund – Creates a tax-exempt "Patriot Family Support Fund" donation designation 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 Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act requirements.
- Unemployment Insurance Waiver – Waives business unemployment insurance increases due 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; permanent residence outside the state for the entire tax year; residence 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 Veterans Affairs-qualified state National Guard and Reserve veterans by providing a state tax credit for the extra three-quarters of a 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 homebuyers 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.
- 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 State 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 emergency medical technicians in New York.