Business owners save hundreds in unemployment insurance taxes

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky businesses are likely going to save hundreds of dollars thanks to a tax freeze.

State lawmakers passed House Bill 413 to allow the tax schedule for unemployment insurance stay frozen at the rate it was at before the pandemic.

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Kate Shanks with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce says it was imperative to get the freeze through the general assembly.

“Our unemployment insurance trust fund became so depleted during the pandemic due to record unemployment, that it triggered us from going really, from what is probably the least cost tax schedule, to the highest cost tax schedule for employers,” she said.

Without this freeze employers would have seen spikes of about $100 per employee she says.

“It really takes some of the weight off the shoulders of employers so that they can then hire more workers, potentially expand their business and really recover from what has been an economic crisis unlike anything we have ever seen,” Shanks said.

Great Bagel owner and chef Robert Swan says of course, any tax break is necessary.

“2020 was hard, it was hard, we’re not doing anywhere near the sales we were,” he said. “It’s a struggle, it’s a struggle to stay afloat, you know you’re doing everything you can to kinda hustle and make it.”

And for swan, he says hiring more workers has turned out easier said than done.

“We can’t find people that want to work and that’s our biggest challenge right now,” Swan said.

Shanks says he’s not alone, the restaurant industry across the state has more than 95,000 openings.

If you’re an employer, your new tax rate will be mailed to you if it hasn’t already.

Click here for more from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com