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Businesses Urge Governor to Address Crisis with Unemployment Insurance Fund

New York State’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is facing a fiscal crisis and lawmakers in Albany need to take action now. That was the urgent message from a group 29 business organizations statewide — including the Business Council of Westchester — in letter sent last week to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The letter noted that due to the negative economic impact of the pandemic “extraordinary amounts of money flowed out of New York’s UI Trust Fund to satisfy claims, and the State needed to borrow more than $11 billion from the federal government. The outstanding loan and completely depleted UI Trust Fund have forced all employers into the highest employer contribution rates allowable under New York’s UI tax tables, meaning all businesses are paying the highest possible UI tax rate related to the fund balance. With $9.3 billion outstanding on the state’s federal UI advance, New York employers are subject to these highest rates for years.”

The businesses said that inaction will only delay New York’s economic recovery. “According to the New York State Comptroller, compared to contributions made in 2020, total state and federal UI taxes paid by New York employers will increase by at least 45.4 percent to as much as 254 percent in 2025. This would be catastrophic for our state’s job creators,” read the letter.

The group goes on to say with the preparation of the Fiscal Year 2023 budget underway, the State should devote federal and/or state funds to the UI system to fund the following employer tax relief measures:

  • Restore New York’s UI tax levels to their pre-pandemic, 2019 levels
  • Use a combination of available federal and state funds to finance the cost of any regular UI benefits paid in 2022 that exceed the amount of state employer-paid UI taxes;
  • Pay any interest payments due on New York State’s federal UI program advance for calendar years 2022 and 2023; and
  • Offset any increase in net FUTA taxes applicable to New York employers for calendar years 2022 and 2023.

The letter to the Governor concludes, “These actions will help ensure a full economic recovery and the growth of businesses, jobs, and public revenue.”

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