Assemblyman Stirpe’s Bill to Support Small Businesses Facing High UI Tax Rates Passes Assembly

Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Cicero) announced that his bill establishing an amnesty period for small businesses that are behind on their unemployment insurance (UI) taxes to pay off their remaining balance without interest passed in the Assembly (A.10202).

“Supporting small businesses ensures the backbone of our economy remains strong, especially after the trying times we’ve faced,” Stirpe said. “The pandemic created numerous challenges for small-business owners, including a massive spike in unemployment insurance claims. That’s why I sponsored legislation to give small businesses additional time to pay delinquent UI taxes. As chair of the Assembly Small Business Committee, I’m committed to helping these businesses fully recover and providing the relief they need to thrive.”

The state’s UI Trust Fund was depleted following a wave of unemployment claims in 2020, which forced New York to secure an $11 billion loan from the federal government. New York raised the UI tax rate for all businesses to the highest level to offset this unprecedented expenditure.[1]

To address this pressing issue, Stirpe’s bill will allow delinquent employers to have their interest waived if they pay the entire outstanding UI balance between Aug. 1 and Dec. 1. The state Department of Labor (DOL) would also be required to contact employers with large outstanding debts directly. The legislation builds on steps taken in recent years to ensure the state’s recovery does not leave anyone behind, including the small businesses fueling Central New York’s economy, noted Stirpe.