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Unemployment Tax Relief Passes Both Chambers

March 2, 2010

Today the Florida Legislature unanimously passed HB 7033 which provides Florida employers with immediate relief from unprecedented unemployment compensation tax increases that they were facing this year.

Without this important legislation, most Florida employers would be forced to pay unemployment taxes at levels higher than 1200% over last year’s amounts.  Plus, the full payments would have been due at the end of the first quarter. Many Florida businesses simply could not pay these unexpected, exorbitant taxes without terminating more workers, cutting benefits or possibly closing their doors all together.

Fortunately, AIF began working diligently with our legislative leaders a few months ago to develop a way to alleviate and mitigate this year’s tax burden. Because this law passed today, businesses will have lower tax bills this year and will be able to make their payments on a quarterly payment plan, with payments spread throughout the calendar year, rather than having to make a large lump sum payment at the end of the first quarter.

Specifically, HB 7033 makes the following key changes to the 2010 tax requirements:

  • Reduces the amount of each employee’s wages upon which the employer pays the UC tax  – from $8,500 back down to $7,000 for 2010 and 2011.
  • Establishes a quarterly payment plan for 2010 and 2011 that lets employers spread out their unemployment compensation payments over the whole year without normal application of penalties or interest. 
  • Eliminates all elements of the rate calculations in the current law that would otherwise increase the tax for purposes of replenishing the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund balance for 2010 and 2011.
  • Allows unemployed Floridians to receive additional extended unemployment benefits funded by the federal government.

Each and every member of the Florida Legislature is to be commended for their votes today. They have listened to the outcry of thousands of Florida businesses and have responded by passing this critical legislation.  AIF applauds Senate President Jeff Atwater and House Speaker Larry Cretul for their leadership and commitment in making this important bill the top priority of the session and ensuring its passage in such a timely manner.