TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) More than five million people have filed for unemployment benefits in Florida.
The new unemployment milestone comes as Florida employers begin the new year with higher taxes to cover unemployment benefits.
Florida employers were sent a notice about the increase from the State Department of Revenue. It let them know their cost of doing business will increase in order to help replenish the state’s reemployment trust fund.
Businesses could see their rate go from one tenth of a percent to nearly three tenths of a percent on the first $7,000 in wages.
“Any payroll-based tax increase is not good for the small business climate,” Bill Herrle with the National Federation of Small Business said.
While no hike is ideal, the increase will keep Florida’s fund stable, according to Herrle.
“Business owners are the sole payers into the unemployment system, so they have a strong stake hold in making sure we continue to pay benefits, and we don’t get into a very high debt that will cause rates to go up even higher,” Herrle said.
Unlike the 2008 recession, when Florida had to borrow $2.7 billion to pay unemployment claims, this year the fund is