SC

SC Businesses Brace For Unemployment Tax Hike

JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS! There’s a major debate brewing between Nikki Haley’s Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) and its critics over the impact of this year’s elevated unemployment taxes. Due to the exorbitant, incompetent and corrupt provision of long-term unemployment benefits, South Carolina racked up a massive $933…

JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!

There’s a major debate brewing between Nikki Haley’s Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) and its critics over the impact of this year’s elevated unemployment taxes.

Due to the exorbitant, incompetent and corrupt provision of long-term unemployment benefits, South Carolina racked up a massive $933 million tab with the federal government.  Most of this debt is being repaid in the form of tax hikes on businesses, although Haley and the “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly decided last year to shift $146 million of this burden directly onto the backs of individual taxpayers.

Nice, huh?

Haley’s administration claims that this tax hike will be reduced by $150 million this year – meaning that businesses will pay less in 2013.  However a legislative committee chaired by S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) disputes that contention.

“Rates for all employers in 2013 may rise as much as 12 percent or more,” a report from Bryant’s committee predicts.  Furthermore, the report speculates that individual employers “may see their rates triple or quadruple.”

So … who’s right?  Well, we were supposed to know by now, but once again it appears as though Haley’s administration is dropping the ball.

Nikki Haley and SCDEW director Abraham Turner.

Two months ago, SCDEW informed businesses that their State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) rates would be mailed to them in mid-November.  Earlier this month, though, the agency pushed that deadline back to mid-December.  SCDEW – one of the most poorly managed agencies in state government – offered no apology or explanation for this delay.

“This hurts a lot of businesses,” one South Carolina small businessman tells FITS.  “Many projects, hires, and decisions have been put on hold or abandoned due to the delay in SUTA rate notices. Businesses need these rates for business planning and our customers are putting their own business planning on hold while they wait for our numbers and prices for the upcoming year.”

While public attention has been focused in recent weeks on the rampant incompetence at Haley’s Department of Revenue (SCDOR), this agency has been an ongoing disaster from the moment Haley took office.

In fact its chronic failure has been exposed this year via a state auditfederal warning and a legislative study.  Among the most damning statistics?   One out of every five dollars in unemployment benefits doled out in South Carolina is awarded erroneously – the eighth-highest percentage in the nation.  Not only that, South Carolinians who use the agency’s reemployment services take an average of 26.5 weeks to get off of the public dole.  Those who do not use SCDEW took only 22.3 weeks to find gainful employment.

How have the agency’s leaders gone about “addressing” these issues?  With taxpayer-funded golf … and sunshine.  Hell … they’re taking another glorified vacation this week.

Pathetic …

Ironically, SCDEW was the poster child for government reform after it was transferred from an unaccountable, legislatively controlled commission into the cabinet of former Gov. Mark Sanford in 2010.

Clearly, it has regressed … and South Carolina businesses and taxpayers are paying the price for that failure.

***

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17 comments

Frank Pytel November 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Yeah. Not a big deal. This is really going to hit hard when Obutthead care takes effect in what, January?

Part time employees are going to be fleeing the market in droves, looking for full time employers or more likely applying for …. Wait for it!! WAIT FOR IT!!!!! :)

Then these rates are going to go TTFR, ceiling and everything else it comes into contact with.

Have a Great Day!! :) There won’t be many left with Obonehead in charge.

Frank Pytel :)

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Frank Pytel November 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

LOL. I just realized the article says a (max) 400% increase. Employers are going to be BEGGING for a 400% increase come January. HEHEHEHEHEEHH

Have a Great Day!! :) There won’t be many left with Obonehead in charge.

Frank Pytel :)

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Carrefour November 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Good example and her administration being totally out of touch with practical business people. Her Commerce Department tries to sell SC as this business utopia while other agencies work to make it unbearable to do business here. There should be a scorecard of businesses that have left, are leaving, or not expanding here due to our oppressive corporate tax structure. Gov would be wise to look inside some of the successful state businesses for appointments rather than hacks, cronies and incompetents who haven’t managed big issues, payrolls, or balanced budgets.

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Go Girl November 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Nikki: “Does this dress make my ass look big?”
Abraham: “Trick question?”

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junior justice November 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Answer: “No. I want to call that booty to duty.”

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Moofy November 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm

What’s bigger; her butt or her ego?

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Todd November 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Thunder Thighs. Her car has a “wide load” banner on the back.

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? November 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

It’s going to further stifle hiring obviously.

Even further, if SCDEW actually means tested people it could save huge money.

In the big picture though it is just one of many issues with the SCDEW.

At some point in time the thumbscrews stop generating revenue and go the other direction…who knows…we might have already hit that point. Maybe we’ll get lucky and someone will compare the revenue taken in before/after each successive SCDEW tax hike and it will actually be published someplace where Joe Sixback can read it.

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? November 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm

sixpack

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BenBan November 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Um, it is published? You can find two reports that have revenue information here…

http://dew.sc.gov/about-land.asp

Of course, not sure it is in a place where Joe Sixpack can easily find it, but the agency is required to post reports on their website.

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? November 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

“Um, it is published?”

Um, not it’s not. I just checked the like you provided and no where do it compare before/after tax hikes.

In the trust report is compares different states and rates, but it doesn’t compare differing rates in our state with metrics to account for employment differences and revenue collection.

I’m not even sure you could extrapolate it from the data provided, all that aside their estimate of “solvency” in 2015 is pure pie in the sky fantasy. That also doesn’t account for the big loan they took from the Feds…which technically means “solvency” is probably never going to happen.

Like I said below, they are doing no more than fostering an environment of systemic unemployment. Really, the whole thing should be shit canned.

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? November 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

edit: “the LINK you provided and no where DOES it”

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The Tax Man Cometh November 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Just means less for these “businessmen” to steal

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Frank Pytel November 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

In reality it will mean less product diversity for you to select from.

Have a Great Day!! :) There won’t be many left with Obonehead in charge.

Frank Pytel :)

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MountainPenelope November 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

The President isn’t responsible for THIS, bonehead. This can be placed squarely on the head of Queen Nimrata and her cronies in SOUTH CAROLINA.

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Booyah November 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

“Even further, if SCDEW actually means tested people it could save huge money.”

Meaning what? That people working two jobs shouldn’t be entitled to UI even though their premiums were paid?

If only the poor should get UI, then those who can afford to do WITHOUT it should be exempt from having their employer pay into the system in their behalf!

I could then use that exemption to make yet another point in favor of hiring me instead of some slug who never amounted to anything.

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? November 22, 2012 at 12:55 am

*If only the poor should get UI, then those who can afford to do WITHOUT it should be exempt from having their employer pay into the system in their behalf!*

Actually I think the whole system should be optional in lieu of it not existing at all.(obviously I prefer the latter-but it is never going to happen)

That being said, the whole deal of who/what gets the haircut in the name of fiscal solvency is devoid of philosophy anyway.

The whole country, not just the state/local, is running fairly lawless and amoral. You do not strike me as the type that normally gives a damn.

*Meaning what? That people working two jobs shouldn’t be entitled to UI even though their premiums were paid?*

Yep, that is exactly what I mean. It is unemployment insurance, not half employed insurance or *collecting a check while sitting on $500,000 in savings* insurance. I do not agree with the concept of the law but playing ball on the field we have if we look to intent of the law, which is obviously to keep people from losing homes, starving, etc. it is the only logical conclusion.

Personally I think they are simply driving us towards more systemic unemployment, but that is not the issue.

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