Governor Neil Abercrombie today enacted House Bill 2096 which extends the mitigation of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax increase. HB 2096 maintains the UI rate that employers will pay for calendar year 2012. Without this measure, a business would have had to pay an additional $550 per year for each employee. This measure will thus help avoid an increase in costs for every business in the state.
"While the state's economy is slowly showing signs of improvement we must do what we can to stimulate economic activity at all levels of business. The Legislature is seeing to it that we help business owners and those looking for employment," Governor Abercrombie said. "This measure also allows the UI Fund to borrow from the state or federal government to maintain its solvency."
This bill also maintains the Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount at 75 percent of the Average Weekly Wage, rather than the normal 70 percent for calendar year 2012; and allows the UI fund to accept loans from the state general fund or the federal government, should the need arise.
"We would like to thank the Legislature and the Governor for their support, as this one-year tax mitigation extension will contribute $107 million in direct savings for Hawaii's business community," stated the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii Chief Operating Officer Sherry Menor-McNamara. "The mitigation of burdensome tax increases for Hawai'i's businesses will directly aid in the revitalization of our state's economy by spurring the creation of new jobs and promoting increased productivity."