JUNEAU, Alaska, December 2, 2013—Today’s announcement by Gov. Sean Parnell that 2014 would bring lower unemployment insurance taxes was hearteningly received by Alaska small-business owners.
“This is a nice present for both employers and employees to start the Christmas holiday with,” said Denny DeWitt, Alaska state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest small-business association. “This beautifully culminates a lot of labor our members put into lobbying for passage of House Bill 76 earlier this year, and the beneficiaries are every Alaskan, either directly or by having a better economy for the New Year.”
House Bill 76 (Chapter 50 SLA 13) modified unemployment insurance to provide for electronic filing, language to conform with federal requirements, and allows the commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development the ability to slow the growth of supplemental premiums when the UI Trust fund is sufficiently funded. Conformity with federal requirements keeps the federal premium discounts in place saving employers about $378 per employee.
According to the governor’s news release, which can be read in its entirety by clicking the graphic to the left, “Alaska workers pay 27 percent of the average benefit costs, and employers pay 73 percent. For 2014, employers will pay an average of 1.97 percent up to the taxable wage base of $37,400, a decrease from 2013’s 2.64 percent. Workers will pay 0.62 percent, down from 0.68 percent.”
“The governor knows fundamentally that small business is the engine of every economy, and we are delighted he is taking decisive action on his principles,” added DeWitt. “As with his recent administrative order to state agencies to reduce regulations, today’s announcement of lower unemployment insurance taxes is a huge shot in the arm for our state’s economy.”
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Alaska
P.O. Box 34761
Juneau, AK 99801