Georgia Slashes Unemployment Insurance Tax

October 10, 2006

Georgia is implementing a $100 million unemployment insurance tax cut that will affect most of the state’s 200,000 employers, state labor officials said.

The tax cut will begin in January, according to state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

Thurmond, who is running for re-election, said the tax cut is possible because, “We help unemployed Georgians get back to work quicker than just about any other state in the nation.”

As a result, Georgia has saved $172 million by not having to pay lengthy unemployment claims, a savings that Thurmond said has been reinvested into the tax cut.

“By focusing on getting people back to work quicker, we have been able to reduce taxes and increase benefits,” he said.

Georgia’s average duration of unemployment claims is one of the lowest in the country. As of Aug. 31, the average duration of Georgia claims was 11.2 weeks, much lower than the national average of 15.2 weeks, the department said.

Thurmond also said Georgia has increased the maximum weekly benefit from $244 per week in 1999 to $320 per week, or a 31 percent increase.

His challenger, Brent Brown, did not immediately return a message for comment.


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