Short Term UI Fix Offered by Massachusetts Lawmakers

Date: May 19, 2021

The Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously advanced a proposal by Governor Baker to address first quarter unemployment insurance tax bills

The Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously advanced a proposal by Governor Baker to address first quarter unemployment insurance tax bills, and more specifically, the solvency assessment charges.

 

The new plan would push the first quarter tax deadline to July 1st, the same day as second quarter payments are due. Bills are being reassessed as the solvency rate will be readjusted from 9.23% to 1.2% and COVID related layoffs charged to a new COVID-19 account instead. Employers who already paid their Q1 bills will receive a credit against future assessments.

 

The costs associated with COVID related UI claims will be paid over a period of 20-years through bonds already authorized by the Legislature in previous legislation. This proposal provides short-term relief and is no way a permanent UI fix. Employers are still being held accountable for the entirety of pandemic claims, even though it was the state that mandated businesses close and have their operations restricted. The Senate has still not taken up this bill but anticipated to do so soon.

 

This proposal will most likely mean lower Q1 bills for most small business owners, but much of it will depend upon your individual experiences. It may take some time for new bills to be reissued as the Department of Unemployment Assistance will need to recalculate all of the assessments.

 

NFIB is continuing to urge lawmakers to utilize the billions in federal funds to help replenish the UI Trust fund like so many other states have already done. Look for future emails calling for NFIB members to contact their elected officials demanding the state share in the responsibility of this UI crisis. They too must share some of the UI tax burden!

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