BOISE – Idaho small businesses and employers will not see huge tax increases next year after Gov. Brad Little approved a $200 million transfer Sept. 3 to keep the Idaho Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund solvent. 

“Our move to put even more dollars toward supporting Idaho businesses helps keep jobs and continues our strong economic rebound,” Little said.

Little approved the transfer of Federal COVID-19 relief dollars today after a recommendation by the Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee.

The state has made record payouts in regular unemployment insurance benefits since March.

Without this transfer, businesses would have to pay nearly double in unemployment insurance taxes next year to keep the Idaho Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund solvent moving forward.

The move is intended to encourage more hiring by preventing tax increases for businesses of more than $300 per employee that could have occurred if Little had not taken decisive action now.

The Idaho chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which represents 4,000 small business owners in the state, praised the move.

“The whole art to restoring the nation’s economy begins with luring small business owners back to re-open and re-hire, and one of the most important ways to do that is to not hit them with additional costs. Your plan to use CARES Act money instead of raising their unemployment insurance taxes is the right one to take,” NFIB Idaho State Director Suzanne Budge wrote to Little. “States that can resist piling on more costs, such as UI tax increases, will be the ones to emerge faster from the coronavirus-induced recession. Small business thanks you for taking the right approach to solving the UI Trust Fund shortfall.”

In addition to this transfer, the State of Idaho has taken multiple other steps to prioritize Idaho businesses in the allocation of federal relief dollars, including:

•Helping 30,000 Idahoans get back to jobs by providing Return to Work incentives, saving taxpayer dollars and benefitting more than 4,800 businesses.

•Distributing more than $75 million to 8,700 Idaho small businesses in cash payments of up to $10,000. The Idaho Rebound Cash Grants helped the smallest of Idaho businesses impacted by COVID-19, from the self-employed to companies with under 50 employees.

•Supporting close to 37,000 businesses with their PPE needs to keep businesses open and workers and patrons safe.

•Allowing local governments to use relief dollars to support businesses.

•Supporting first responders and reducing property taxes for Idaho citizens and businesses in participating cities and counties.

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