Senate Votes to Delay Unemployment Tax Hike
The state Senate voted Tuesday afternoon to provide quick relief to businesses fearing a major hike in the state unemployment tax.
The Senate voted 39-0 to pass a House of Representatives bill that delays for two years a looming tax hike that would result in as much as a twelvefold increase on employers unemployment tax bills. The House bill (HB 7033) was one of two introduced for the session. The other was introduced into the Senate by Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah.
If the hike is not delayed, the minimum unemployment tax businesses will pay per person will rise from $8.40 to $100.30. Businesses paying the maximum would see a rise from $378 to $459. Some businesses will still see their tax bills rise due to the states tax rate formula, but they will not rise as high as they would if the hike was not delayed.
This is going to save jobs and, in some cases, help create jobs, said Garcia.
The bill passed the House in its first session this with a vote of 117-0. Gov. Charlie Crist has said he will sign the bill into law tonight.
The bill passed without argument, but some senators pointed out that it only addresses part of the states unemployment problems. The state eventually needs to expand and modernize its outmoded system, they said. Then, the state could qualify for as much as $444 million in federal stimulus money.
We have $400 million that belongs to Floridians, said Minority Democrat Whip Anthony Hill. And the only thing stopping us from getting it is modernization.
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