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Employers May Get Tax Benefit for Hiring Nonviolent Felons

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

Two local legislators have sponsored bills to provide tax credits for residents who employ people convicted on nonviolent felonies.


State Reps. William Tracy Arnold, R-Booneville, and Lester Carpenter, R-Burnsville, have both authored bills to give tax incentives to employers who hire people with nonviolent criminal histories.

Arnold called it “second chance legislation” and said he has heard a favorable response from people who have family members with a criminal record.

This bill would save the state money by helping keep people out of prison, Arnold said. If people cannot get a job because of their criminal record they are more likely to go back to what they were doing when they got into trouble, he said.

This bill allows them a chance to be a productive citizen and gives businesses an incentive to hire them, Arnold said.


Arnold has sponsored two similar bills, one of which would provide an annual $2,500 tax credit for four years for each applicable employee.

The person would have to employ the individual for at least 10 months during the year the tax credit was claimed. The employee would also have to work at least 40 hours per week.

The credit could not be claimed for more than 10 employees per year, and the total of all tax credits could not exceed $250,000 per year.

Carpenter’s bill is similar but instead of a $2,500 tax credit for four years it would be a $1,000 credit for five years for each person employed.

And Carpenter’s bill says the person would have to work for nine months and at least 30 hours a week during the year the tax credit was claimed.

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