NH House Leaders React to Elimination of Emergency Surcharge to the Unemployment Trust Fund

CONCORD – New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and Majority Whip Rep. Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) today offered the following statements in response to the announcement that New Hampshire employers were notified that the emergency surcharge put in place under Maggie Hassan and her fellow Democrats in 2010 will be removed.  According to the Department of Employment Securities notification, the reduction applies to taxable wages paid to employees starting in the 4th Quarter of 2012, beginning October 1.

The surcharge was first introduced by then Senator Maggie Hassan (D-Exeter) in 2009 and took effect January 1, 2010, requiring that employers pay the additional rate increase into the Unemployment Trust Fund because the fund fell below $150 million.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“Sen. Hassan has said this legislature is extreme.  Perhaps to Maggie, any lowering of the burden of taxation on employers is no doubt extreme, but in her mind raising the unemployment tax on employers three times, as she did when she last held elected office, is moderation.  In reality, there only two things extreme here: the first is the stark transition between legislative Republicans lowering numerous business taxes over the last two years, and Maggie Hassan having increased spending by 25% in the prior four years, paid for by over 100 tax and fee increases, when she lead Democrats in the state Senate, and the other is Maggie Hassan herself.  To her, the burdensome rate by which she increased taxes and fees, including this now-eliminated surcharge tax on our businesses and employers, is just what government does.  Hardworking New Hampshire taxpayers know differently and are growing tired of Maggie’s excuses.  The removal of Sen. Hassan’s tax on employers signals that our economy is becoming stronger, our employment conditions becoming more favorable, payrolls are increasing and we can’t afford Maggie again.”

House Majority Whip Shawn Jasper

“I am appalled at the lack of responsibility Maggie has taken for the taxes and fees she had a direct hand in increasing as a leader in the Senate including this tax on job creators. This legislature has had to do reconstructive surgery to our tax and fee structure in order to allow New Hampshire businesses to stop hemorrhaging jobs and start hiring again. I would suggest that if our businesses and job creators appreciate the removal of this .5% tax, they should call Sen. Hassan and ask her to support the reelection of Speaker O’Brien and this legislature, who can be credited with setting us back on the right track after the train wreck of the prior Democratic legislative majority.”