N.J. moves to delay surcharge on businesses for unemployment trust fund

    New Jersey businesses might be able to avoid a $300 million tax increase to replenish the unemployment insurance fund.

    The measure would postpone a 10-percent surcharge on unemployment insurance tax rates scheduled to take effect in July.

    Assembly Labor Committee chairman Joe Egan says the unemployment insurance trust fund now has enough of a reserve to avoid the need for the surcharge.

    “Enough money is coming in not to go to the 10 percent,” said Egan, D-Middlesex. “The employers certainly deserve to pay as little as they need to (in order) to keep the system alive and that’s what this bill does.”

    Delaying the surcharge will help businesses, said Mike Eggenton of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

    “This legislation will allow employers to balance their ledgers, retain current employees, and potentially create new job opportunities,” he said.

    The surcharge would be a drag on the economy and is the last thing businesses need, agreed Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex.

    “It could be up to $300 per worker was the last estimate I recall seeing,” he said. “That could make them make hard choices about potential hiring decision and continuing to employ people who are already there.”

    The Assembly Labor Committee voted unanimously to approve the legislation.

    The Senate passed it in February.

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