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Changes To Indiana Unemployment Trust Fund Up For Vote

Last updated on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - A move to delay changes to Indiana’s unemployment trust fund is on the fast track to a vote in the senate next month.

A senate committee has voted 10-1 to put off till 2011 a revamped grid of payroll taxes which would increase the amounts most employers pay.

Legislators spent much of this year's session hammering out a deal to revive Indiana's bankrupt unemployment trust fund.

That deal includes revamped payroll taxes linked to how many of a company's workers have filed for benefits.

The National Federation of Independent Business was one of the few business groups supporting the changes most of the small firms it represents would see their taxes go down or stay flat.

But State Director Barbara Quandt expects her members to support the delay.

She notes many of the small businesses which are seeing increases are seeing large ones, while the recession is pushing many small firms out of business.

Senators say the tax hikes are doubly hard to justify when most states haven't even attempted to fix the shortfalls in their unemployment funds.

They're banking on the federal government extending the interest-free loans it offered this year.

East Chicago Democrat Lonnie Randolph cast the only no vote.

The delay and a constitutional amendment to cap property taxes are the only bills being heard in committee in the senate during what normally is the general assembly's six-week quiet period before the legislative session begins in earnest in January.

The quick vote means the full senate could pass the bill within two days of reconvening.

The house has scheduled early hearings on the property tax amendment and five other bills, but not the unemployment bill.

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