Federal budget proposal taps employers for $74.1 billion unemployment tax increase

In his proposed budget for fiscal year 2015, Pres. Barack Obama looks to employers for an additional $74.1 billion over 10 years for the unemployment insurance system.

Pres. Obama’s proposal would bring back the .2 percent surtax and make it permanent. In addition, it would make changes to the FUTA wage base, create an index allowing the wage base to grow and change the federal unemployment insurance tax.

The changes are contained in the administrations’ budget (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/Documents/General-Explanations-FY2015.pdf).

As the nation’s economy attempts to recover from the recession, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposes efforts to increase taxes on employers.

The Missouri Chamber will continue to watch this proposal as Congress begins its work on the 2015 budget.

Likewise, the chamber is continuing to engage in the discussion to reform Missouri’s unemployment system. Senate Bill 673, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R- Jefferson City, would tie the number of weeks jobless Missourians can receive unemployment benefits to the unemployment insurance rate (https://mochamber.wordpress.com/tag/unemployment-benefits/).

In February, Sen. Kehoe’s bill as well as Senate Bill 510, sponsored by Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, was passed out of the Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight. Both pieces of legislation await debate on the Senate floor. The Missouri Chamber was vital in crafting both pieces of legislation and has been the lead proponent of unemployment insurance reform.

For more information on unemployment insurance, contact Tracy King, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs, at tking@mochamber.com, or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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