November 18, 2009
“Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) is concerned about the shockingly high unemployment tax rates the Florida Department of Revenue today announced Florida employers will begin paying next year.
These tax rates are exponentially greater than the estimates provided by the state this past spring when the Legislature wisely passed some reforms to the unemployment tax structure. Legislative leaders worked closely with AIF and our members to craft lasting solutions that would restore solvency to the state’s unemployment compensation fund in the least onerous manner to Florida employers. Some critics suggested then and are stating again today that Florida should accept more federal stimulus dollars to avoid this outcome. This remains an irresponsible option. Accepting those funds is contingent upon expanding the payout of benefits; increasing Florida’s liability to the federal government and likely forcing the tax rates announced today to even higher levels.
At this point, Florida businesses need to decide exactly how this tax hike impacts our state’s economic outlook. What we don’t know at this point is whether or not this higher tax rate is the tipping point that causes the system’s reforms to be counterproductive to the economic recovery they were intended to foster. Along with working with our partners in the business community, AIF is currently talking with its members and analyzing the various impacts this will have on different types of employers across the state. We are confident that our legislative leaders will continue to work closely with us on this matter in the coming weeks and seek viable ways to speed Florida’s economic recovery.”