WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today cosponsored a bill introduced by Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., to extend through next year a tax credit for small businesses that pay the salary differential to reservist employees called up for active duty. This small business tax credit provides incentive for small employers to eliminate any pay gap between civilian and military pay. The bill comes as the nation honors its veterans tomorrow.

“Our soldiers put their lives on the line each day to protect our country,” Senator Landrieu said. “As they keep us secure, we must keep them secure. Yet, as these soldiers serve millions of miles away, the families they leave at home often suffer as reservists take a pay cut. This tax credit has helped small businesses pay the salaries of reservist employees called to active duty and must not expire. Our brave soldiers should not be penalized for their dedicated service, nor should the small business owners who want to help their employees, but who are already suffering in these harsh economic times.”

The bill extends for one year a provision that provides small businesses with less than 50 workers with a 20 percent tax credit of the salary differential they pay for reservist employees called up for active duty, with a maximum tax credit of $4,000. Without this legislation, the tax credit would expire January 1, 2010.