Lawmakers at work on state budget as June 30th deadline approaches.
Eileen Kean, New Jersey State Director for NFIB, continues to urge lawmakers in Trenton and Gov. Phil Murphy to protect small business and position Main Street for a sustained economic recovery by stabilizing the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund.
New Jersey’s UI Fund was decimated during the unemployment crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and government-mandated restrictions and shutdowns. The Fund’s insolvency is the direct result of an historic volume of unemployment claims and state government mandates, not the business decisions of Main Street employers. If state government fails to replenish the depleted fund, New Jersey businesses will face a significant and unfair tax increase, with steep UI tax rate hikes looming in July.
Fortunately, there are some promising signs, as leaders in both chambers are working on proposals to prevent the tax increases on small businesses. Previously, the Senate Labor Committee, chaired by Sen. Fred Madden, unanimously passed SB-733, a bill to allocate available funds from federal assistance programs to the UI Fund as an alternative to placing the tax burden on the shoulders of small business owners.
NFIB has called on the Governor and Legislature to come to an agreement on a solution along the lines of S-733 in order to offset the massive unemployment insurance tax increase that will go into effect in July. Otherwise, every business will pay more — regardless of whether they laid off workers during the pandemic. Dedicating remaining federal relief funds intended to offset pandemic-related disruptions, as at least thirty-two other states have already done, will energize the state’s economy, prevent a costly tax increase, and give small business owners the breathing room to grow and hire.
Tens of thousands of small businesses are now facing massive tax increases through no fault of their own. NFIB urges legislators and Governor Murphy to take common-sense action and replenish New Jersey’s UI Fund.