Unemployment Tax Targets Retailers

Fresh, made-to-order subs served with a smile are the ingredients of success for Metro Deli owner Rob Bazemore.

But to keep his restaurant above water at a time when the economy is forcing many to stop eating out has been a challenge.

“Everybody’s got a little less disposable income. People are bringing lunches more and it’s affecting us already,” said Rob.

To add insult injury, Rob’s unemployment tax is scheduled to increase 12 fold, jumping from 67 dollars for his eight employees, to 800 dollars.

“We are doing okay, but it could change things,” said Rob.

The tax is being increased to help pay unemployment claims.

The fund ran out of money in August. Now the state is borrowing money from the feds and asking Florida businesses to foot the bill.

The Florida Retail Federation says now is not the time.

“Let’s not hammer small businesses and medium size businesses, who are just now starting to feel like things are getting better, with a two billion dollar bill,” said Rick McAllister, the President of the Florida Retailers Federation.

Retailers are asking the governor and lawmakers to look at the issue in a special session because the first payment of the new unemployment tax will be due in March.

Friday the Agency for Workforce Innovation gave indications help for the unemployed will be needed longer than expected.

“The unemployment rate is expected to remain above six per through the 2019,” said Rebecca Rust, Chief Economist for the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Retailers are hoping a vote on decreasing the new tax can be taken in December or January, that’s when a special session for high-speed rail is rumored to be held.

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  • by Anonymous on Nov 23, 2009 at 08:12 PM
    Unempolyment is not slowing down at all. everybody is still unemployed just because their unemployment ran out does not mean they have a job - no slow down. It will be much worse way befor it's better
  • by Confused Location: Tallahassee on Nov 22, 2009 at 12:46 AM
    "The small increase could mean the state’s unemployment crisis is slowing down" Huh? How in the world does raising the unemployment tax indicate that the crisis is slowing down? Seems like it means it's getting worse to me.
  • by Robert Location: McAlpin, Fl on Nov 21, 2009 at 01:12 AM
    It looks like the ignorant bunch in Tallahassee is at it again. even the biggest fool knows that raising taxes is bad for the economy, no matter what the taxes are for. When you take away more of a business owners prifit, the more people he will have to let go. Nuff said.
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