Friday, January 20, 2012

Senate Passes Republican Initiative to Freeze Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate

During yesterday’s full formal Senate session, the Massachusetts State Senate passed an unemployment insurance tax rate freeze for the upcoming year, an initiative first proposed by the Republican Legislative Caucus.

The business friendly measure was filed by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), House Minority Leader Bradley Jones (R-North Reading), and the members of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses in early January to prevent a 31% increase to the UI tax rate. If left unchecked, businesses would be obligated to pay an average additional increase of $220 per employee.

“I am proud of the actions taken in the Massachusetts State Senate. Leadership has promptly responded to our calls in preventing an unnecessary burden to small businesses,” said Senator Tarr. “I look forward to working with colleagues in both parties to secure substantive reforms to the unemployment insurance system that will promote job growth and prevent the need to freeze rates from becoming a yearly issue.”

House Docket 4205, “An Act Relative to Mitigating the Increasing Costs for Small Businesses by Freezing the Unemployment Insurance Rate”, received widespread, bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and in the Massachusetts State Senate, garnering 49 co-sponsors of the bill. The measure is now one step closer to law, and if passed, would mark the fourth straight year that similar legislation has been passed.

“I applaud members of the Senate for adopting the unemployment insurance tax rate freeze,” said Representative Jones. “We have sent a loud and clear message to business owners and taxpayers alike: we as a governing body will remove any and all impediments to job growth in the Commonwealth.”

The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.