Led by House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester), the entire House and Senate Republican caucus has filed legislation to freeze the anticipated unemployment insurance tax rate.
Citing the current economic climate as the reason for this legislation, House and Senate Republicans seek to prevent a tax increase of $220 per employee, or 31%, on the Commonwealth’s businesses. This would mark the fourth straight year that a similar bill has been passed by the Legislature protecting Massachusetts employers from this damaging and unnecessary tax hike.
“Implementing this rate freeze is the best and most concrete way we can help to move the Massachusetts economy forward in the New Year,” said Representative Jones. “In these tough fiscal times, we need to remove any impediments to economic growth in the Commonwealth.”
Although this tax hike triggered on January 1, 2012, employers will not receive the bill for a few more weeks. In the interim, the Legislature has the opportunity to ease the potential burden on the Commonwealth’s businesses.
“Unemployment insurance is already a major cost for employers in Massachusetts, and one that relates directly to the number of people they employ,” said Senator Tarr. “A substantial rate increase now will not only imperil a struggling economic recovery, it will also put a new obstacle in the way of getting people back to work.”
In addition to freezing the unemployment insurance tax rate hike in the coming weeks, the House and Senate Republican Caucuses will introduce comprehensive unemployment insurance reform and long-term job creation opportunities for the Bay State.