State unemployment tax on employers poised to increase

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File image of an unemployment benefits application. (Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Thursday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recommends state lawmakers advocate for additional federal support that would relieve employers’ new costs in unemployment taxes hampering recovery efforts due to the pandemic.

In a report issued by DiNapoli, unemployment claims from the onset of the COVID pandemic rapidly depleted the New York State Unemployment (UI) trust fund, resulting in the state borrowing from the federal government to pay UI claims.

“The pandemic put many New Yorkers out of work and forced the state to borrow heavily from the federal government to meet their urgent unemployment claims,” DiNapoli said.

The state currently owes Washington $9 billion in an obligation to pay back this money from the effects of the pandemic on some state businesses and their workforce, causing a historic surge in layoffs and claims for UI benefits said DiNapoli,

Given the current negative balance of the state’s unemployment trust fund, 2021 UI rates for New York employers increased to a range of 2.1% to 9.9% of taxable payroll, up from 2020 rates that ranged from 0.6% to 7.9% in this staggering increase in the report.

If New York continues to hold a negative balance on Jan. 1, 2022 and does not meet certain federal rules by Nov. 10 of this year, employers’ federal tax rates will also go up from 0.6 % to 0.9% for 2022, said DiNapoli. A trend the will continue to grow .3% each year until the maximum rate reaches 6% on New York State’s outstanding holding balance.

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