33% Unemployment Insurance Tax Increase Called Reckless

The Restaurant and Business Alliance called for an immediate repeal of the recent 33% Unemployment Insurance Tax Increase on Massachusetts employers that took effect on January 1st.  This action was prompted by the fact that the Massachusetts’ Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund currently has approximately $800 million in their coffers.

“This increase is reckless, unnecessary and will continue to drive jobs away from Massachusetts,” said Dave Andelman, President of the Restaurant and Business Alliance. He continued, “We should repeal the increase immediately and pass additional unemployment reforms.”

As a start, the Restaurant and Business Alliance made several proposals, using other states with successful systems as models. They are:

  • use a 3 year average salary for employment numbers, as done in a majority of other states, rather than one year, to encourage adding jobs.
  • bring unemployment insurance benefits more in line with other states to require that employees work a set amount of time to qualify for benefits
  • Pass the Good Jobs Creator Fairness Act so that employers can’t be punished by paying unemployment to a current employee because that employee was laid off from another job. Filed as House 1755

Dave added, ” We need to focus on creating jobs, not pushing jobs away,” referencing CNBC ranking the Commonwealth 49th in cost of business, CEOs ranking Massachusetts 47th in terms of doing business in a survey by “Chief Executive” magazine, Forbes Magazine ranked Massachusetts 49th in cost of doing business and 42nd in regulatory environment, and a January 2013 report from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce citing taxes on businesses in Massachusetts are the fifth highest in the country.

Based on the most recent numbers released by the Commonwealth, there are 243,800 unemployed people in Massachusetts today. That number was 132,600 six years ago.

The Restaurant and Business Alliance is a trade association with a mission to foster the conditions for hiring and investment in Massachusetts. The R.A.B.A. focuses on legislation, media and networking within the business community.

Find more information about the R.A.B.A. at RestaurantAndBusinessAlliance.com.

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