Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gelber Comments on passage of unemployment tax relief for businesses

State Senator Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach), Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce issued the following statement on the passage of unemployment tax relief for businesses:

“I commend Sen. Garcia for moving quickly with SB 1666, which addresses a portion of our state’s unemployment crisis. Florida’s small businesses face increases from $8.40 to $100 per employee in unemployment taxes as a result of the more than one million Floridians out of work. This drastic increase is a shock to our businesses who are trying to stay afloat during these challenging times. While the measure passed today is welcome, it is not a permanent fix; a band aid won’t stop an infection from spreading.

“But it is a mistake born out of short-term thinking to turn our backs on the $500 million available to Florida if we modernize our five decade old unemployment system. If the legislature would have had earnest dialogue on this matter last legislative session, we would be in a much different place today, and the sticker shock businesses suddenly confronted would have been far less. Failing to address this portion of the crisis will only hinder our efforts to turn our economy around. Unemployed Floridians who have access to unemployment benefits contribute to our economy and aid in our economic recovery. We cannot ignore this challenge and I urge my colleagues in the Florida House and Senate to address this important issue.”

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