Democratic Senators Push Murphy To Use Federal Funds To Avert UI Payroll Tax Increase


Democratic Senators have begun urging Governor Murphy to dedicate federal relief funds to offset the coming $250M unemployment insurance fund payroll tax increase that was announced in mid-August.

Earlier today, Senators Gopal and Greenstein sent out letters to the Governor requesting the offset, while earlier in the month Senator Addiego urged Murphy to do the same.

Several GOP Senators have slammed the impending increase, with Senator Testa pledging that ‘my colleagues and I will re-double efforts to set aside federal funds to prevent tax increases on employers that are otherwise scheduled in each of the next two years’, while Senators Oroho and Bucco said the increase ‘was avoidable by using federal funds from the American Recovery Plan. We should have used COVID relief money that the state already has in its possession instead of adding burdens to job creators.’

Greenstein’s and Gopal’s letters are below:

Greenstein’s letter: “As the State Senator of the 14th Legislative District, I am writing to you to respectfully request that you allocate a portion of New Jersey’s federal relief funds to offset the $250 million Unemployment Insurance tax hike that New Jersey businesses will face in the coming months.

The New Jersey Department of Labor announced an increase in the unemployment insurance tax that businesses will pay come October 1st. Businesses in the state are at a critical juncture as they try to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This tax increase only makes their recovery that much more difficult.

The American Rescue Plan was enacted to help State and Local governments recover from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. An increase in the unemployment insurance tax certainly qualifies as a negative economic impact due to the pandemic. Therefore, these funds should be used to offset this increase on our businesses. Other states have used federal funds to replenish unemployment, and I hope that New Jersey will follow their steps and do the same to avoid an untimely burden on our businesses.

My office is far too familiar with the unemployment crisis that is happening in our state. We have had over 1500 constituents reach out to our office needing assistance to get the unemployment that they rely on. However, pushing the burden onto businesses to fund the increase in unemployment instead of using funds that were created for this purpose, could result in a disaster for already struggling businesses.

Thank you for your attention on this matter. I am available to discuss this further, if necessary.”

Gopal’s letter: “I am writing to you today to respectfully request part of the funds from New Jersey’s federal relief be dedicated towards the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund to reduce the tax increase New Jersey businesses will soon have to endure as they continue to try to recover from the hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I thank you for the work done thus far giving state relief grants to the business community, however, businesses are still trying to stay afloat after the years long struggle they faced. An increase in the unemployment insurance tax that businesses must pay come October 1st comes at a particularly difficult time for many of our state’s businesses who are just beginning to re-establish their economic footing.

The small businesses can get help to keep their stores running smoothly and efficiently if the UI fund receives part of the state’s portion of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds or remaining CARES Act funds. The ARPA was specifically created to assist State and Local governments with their economic recoveries, and the unemployment insurance tax has had a negative economic impact on the state and therefore would qualify.

Once again, I greatly appreciate the efforts made to keep New Jersey’s businesses open and your commitment to keeping our constituents safe. Please consider my request on behalf of the business community to take action now in order to save the backbone of our economy from crippling under this impending tax hike on October 1.”

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