Saturday, November 20, 2010

Florida unemployment comp tax going up again

Unemployment compensation taxes are set to nearly triple next year for almost half of Florida's employers who pay the minimum rate, but they won't change for those paying the maximum, state revenue officials said Wednesday.

The jobless rate instead has increased, hitting 11.9 percent in October - 0.7 point higher than the same month last year. The state has borrowed $1.74 billion so far and hasn't been able to repay any of it.

Employers' taxes are individually set, based on a formula that includes their recent history. More layoffs mean higher taxes.

Those with the best records will have the biggest percentage increase next year with the minimum annual tax going up from $25.20 to $72.10 per employee. The maximum, though, is staying at $378 per employee.

Department of Revenue officials say the tax is paid by 465,812 employers. They expect 78,441 to pay the maximum rate and 219,935 the minimum next year. The rest would pay amounts somewhere between those rates.

Florida began borrowing money from the federal government to pay jobless workers' claims last year after the state unemployment compensation fund dropped to zero from $1.2 billion in 2008.

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