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New Jersey lawmakers are continuing to move a bill that will soften the blow of a massive unemployment payroll tax increase for businesses next year, needed to replenish a pandemic-diminished unemployment trust fund.

Bill A-4853 was approved by the Assembly Labor Committee on Thursday. Businesses currently face a $919 million increase in their unemployment payroll taxes in July, 2021. The legislation calls for a phase-in of the increased unemployment payroll tax hike through July, 2023.

NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz warned that, without this bill becoming law, companies that laid off more employees due to the coronavirus will have the biggest experience ratings, and have the highest tax bills.

“We’ll have a softer, predictable, manageable rate increase that businesses can plan for and businesses can deal with,” Emigholz said in an NJ.com report.  “We want to avoid that massive spike when we all know next year, July of 2021, we’re not going to be through the woods on this. We’re still going to be in bad shape. Businesses are going to be struggling. So let’s put off that massive hike.”

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