The New Year will bring the biggest unemployment tax increase in state history for Florida’s businesses already struggling from the recession. Right now the minimum unemployment tax is 72 dollars per employee. Starting next year the minimum rate rises to 171 dollars.
At Helen’s Uniform Shop in Tallahassee the increase comes as new rules and regulations are making it difficult to grow. “It could hurt us from a stand point of rather than having three fulltime and three part-time people we may have to scale back a part time person,” said Cal Gleaton. Owner Cal Gleaton has five employees. The tax increase will cost him an estimated 850 dollars, five hundred dollars more than he pays right now.
The increase will be used to pay back the 2.7 billion dollars the state borrowed to pay unemployment claims. So far a billion has been paid back with interest. The Florida Chamber of Commerce is asking the governor and state legislature to take extra time paying the money back to ease the burden on businesses. “With over 900-thousand of our fellow Floridians still unemployed, it seems to be a bad time to have our unemployment rates go up dramatically,” said David Hart with the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
If nothing changes business owners will pay an extra 800 million dollars in unemployment taxes next year. That’s money that won’t be spent to create jobs.