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New York to offer tax credit for employers that hire people in addiction recovery

Emily Russell
Business owner Michael Carpenter and Assemblyman Billy Jones announced the tax credit at Carpenter's Plattsburgh business, the Northeast Group.

Starting next year, employers in New York that hire people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction will be eligible for a state tax credit. The $2000 credit covers both full and part time workers and it was a business owner in Plattsburgh who first suggested the idea.

A few years ago North Country Assemblyman Billy Jones, a Democrat, had lunch with Michael Carpenter. Carpenter owns The Northeast Group, a printing, mailing, and distribution business in Plattsburgh.

Jones said he came to him with a question --"Why don’t we, people for development disabilities and veterans, why don’t we do the same tax credit program with businesses, for people in recovery?"

Jones recounted the lunch Wednesday outside Carpenter’s business in Plattsburgh. He was there to announce that the 2020 state budget includes $2 million to fund the Recovery Tax Credit program.

"We want to have people take a chance on these individuals that are struggling a bit in their lives," said Jones. "It’s good to see this happen."

Carpenter himself is in recovery. About a third of his staff are also recovering from drug or alcohol addiction and another third has family in recovery, which Carpenter said made his business stronger.

"Members of the recovery community make some of the best, most loyal employees we’re ever had. So, we hire them whether we get a tax incentive or not," Carpenter explained.

"Our hope is that the other people, who are not as familiar [with recovery] as I am, are willing to do it because the tax credit incentivizes them."

Employers can apply for the $2000 tax credit per worker starting next year. Workers must be enrolled in a state approved rehab program and have worked a minimum of 500 hours.