Massachusetts is estimated to receive roughly $5.3 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act aid, plus billions of dollars more in funds for transportation, education, healthcare, and municipalities. While the Governor and Legislature are trying to sort out who has control over the funds, advocates are making the case for a myriad of spending projects. But NFIB needs you to ask elected officials to use the aid for the unemployment insurance trust fund currently facing a $7 billion deficit.
Why should small business owners care? Because employers are the ones responsible for replenishing the trust fund through UI taxes. Many business owners were surprised by their outrageously high first quarter UI bills earlier this year. While legislators attempted to “fix” this situation, in reality they simply kicked the can down the road, expecting employers to pick up the tab for COVID-related layoffs over a 20-year span.
Business owners did not ask to have their doors closed or operations restricted and certainly did not want to lay off their workers. Therefore, employers should not be held solely accountable for refilling the depleted UI trust fund, the state must share in the responsibility. Other states have committed large portions of their federal aid to helping provide UI tax relief for small businesses. Maryland used $1.1 billion of ARPA money for their UI trust fund, Massachusetts should follow their example.
We first ask you to send an email to your legislators here.
Second, we are working to schedule virtual meetings between business owners and lawmakers on this subject before the end of June. If you would like us to schedule a meeting with your elected officials please email: [email protected].