Not putting Main Street on the hook for paying trust fund deficit a good economic policy
DENVER, Nov. 2, 2021—Colorado’s leading small-business association today thanked Gov. Jared Polis for alleviating some of the worry small businesses were having under the threat of crippling unemployment insurance tax increases by using some of Colorado’s budgetary largesse to pay down the money it owes the federal government for back UI loans.
“We commend the governor for not only recognizing a highly important need of the state’s small-business owners but also acting on it in a real way,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the state’s and nation’s largest and leading small-business association. “The pandemic has added new, and amplified old, worries small-business owners have in remaining open, operational, and able to write a paycheck to their employees. Having one less worry in a greatly heightened worrisome age goes a longer way than it would have in prosperous times.”
Colorado owes the federal government more than $1 billion in loans it took out to keep its unemployment insurance trust fund solvent and unemployment checks going to those in need of them. Eleven other states find themselves in a similar hole.
In yesterday’s release of his state budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022-2023, the Polis administration is calling for “$600 million for Relief from Pandemic-Related Unemployment Insurance charges to save employers money and protect worker wages.” In a special call with NFIB and other business associations prior, Polis’ top administrators said $500 million of the money would come from the state’s general fund and $100 million from federal American Rescue Plan Act money the state has received.
“Our applause for the governor’s action does come with a few qualifications,” said Gagliardi. “First, the Legislature must approve his wish and, second, more than $400 million will still be owed to the feds. So, businesses are not out of the woods yet on possibly having to pay more UI taxes down the road. I also want to remind people that employers had successfully funded the UI trust fund up until the pandemic struck and they will do so again when we get a return to normalcy.”
Keep up with the latest Colorado small-business news at www.nfib.com/colorado or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CO or on Facebook @NFIB.CO
For 78 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
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