Massachusetts UI Solvency and Tax Rate Increase Update

What’s Happened?

It’s been an action-packed two weeks for UTCA! Many Massachusetts employers are still coming to terms with the grim unemployment tax escalations they are experiencing. If you are not yet aware of the issue, you can read our previous post here.

We continue to bring awareness and action to the issue, by engaging media, employer advocacy groups, chambers of commerce and other industry associations. We would like to thank media outlets for featuring UTCA to bring light to the crisis in the following articles:

Boston Business Journal 4/15

Boston Business Journal 4/9

Masslive 4/15

Masslive 4/8 

In addition, UTCA has taken to the airwaves to tell the story:

BusinessTalk with talks with Suzanne Murphy, CEO and founder of Unemployment Tax Control Associates in Springfield

And in a quick and successful mobilization effort, UTCA aligned with the ERC5 chamber to bring an emergency session to over 150 concerned employer attendees to provide:

An explanation of the current state of the crisis with real world employer examples

• A practical way for employers to calculate their 2021 UI cost increase

• Employer resources to alert their local legislators of the personal impact felt as a result of the solvency assessment increase

If you missed this discussion, you can view the recording and access the resources here . You can also view the recording here:

Where Are We Now?

The early outcry driven by UTCA, individual employers and other efforts by organizations such as the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) have been heard by Mass. legislature and the Baker administration. Shortly after the ERC5 event, the DUA announced that the deadline for Q1 UI tax contributions would be extended past the original 4/30/21 deadline to 6/1/21. The DUA cited that the administration is reviewing the solvency rate increase and will provide more information. Since then, Governor Baker has responded in a Boston Business Journal article stating, “We do have some ideas about how to mitigate some of the hit, especially on some of the folks, small businesses who saw very big increases in their rates, especially at a point in time when we all know small businesses (have) paid a really heavy price all the way through Covid.” He also added, “One of the reasons we asked for the delay in making payments was so we could process some of these ideas,” saying a proposal could be expected “soon.”

What Can We Do?

We see the deadline and Governor Baker’s comments as encouraging and positive first steps. However, we urge employers to continue making their voices heard and share their stories with local legislators. If you’re a Massachusetts business that has been negatively affected by the solvency assessment and UI tax rate increase, whether you are or aren’t a UTCA client, please feel free to contact us to learn how you can help the effort. We can provide you with quick cost calculations and a sample letter with links to your local legislator. And if you like, you can bolster your effort or singularly sign this petition . Please note, we DO NOT require, nor are we requesting petition signers make a donation. Employers are already strained enough!

Lastly, UTCA realizes not all businesses or organizations feel comfortable taking place in actions that can be construed as political stances. While we do not believe Mass. legislators of any political affiliation should view this dire situation as a partisan issue, we respect your decision not to take action. We are not a political action or lobbying group. Our goal is to raise awareness, impart our expertise where appropriate and help our clients and non-clients alike recover from the unfortunate stresses the pandemic has caused. We hope positive relief efforts will be forthcoming that will benefit all Mass. employers, their workers and their communities.

Stay tuned!