Labor Secretary steps down but unlawful tax increases remain

Labor Secretary steps down but unlawful tax increases remain

  • Post published:April 22, 2021
  • Post category:News

Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley stepped down abruptly last week and the search is on for a replacement. But the timing of his resignation is what’s raising eyebrows across the business community. NMBC and other news outlets are now reporting on the tremendous rate hikes in Unemployment Insurance taxes for businesses happening across the state.

During normal years, businesses pay into the state unemployment insurance trust fund and their rate is based on the number of people who apply for benefits. The pandemic and resulting lockdowns however, drained that trust fund. During the 2020 special legislative session, lawmakers saw that businesses faced potentially skyrocketing rates from the lockdown they had no say in, and passed a law guaranteeing their rates would not increase due to the job losses incurred during the pandemic.

Except that’s not what’s happening. Some businesses are seeing their UI rates increase significantly as a direct result of layoffs from the pandemic – A direct violation of the law passed to address this problem. Spokesperson for the Department of Workforce Solutions Stacy Johnston said employers received tax notices in November:

“Tax rates were issued in November 2020 and provided employers a 30-day window for a rate review. Each employer can see the calculation of their rate from their online employer account in the UI Tax & Claims System. NMDWS will extend this review to May 30, 2021. A request for review can be submitted from their online account by going to “Account Maintenance” then selecting ‘Rate Review’ and selecting the year.  

Over 47,000 employers received a rate notice, of those nearly 9,000 had a rate decrease and 7,000 had an increase. Almost 31,000 employer tax rates stayed the same.

The tax rate is calculated on a 3-year average.  A tax rate may have gone up due to benefit charges that took place prior to March 1, 2020.” Click HERE to read more.

NMBC is encouraging all businesses to review their UI tax rates for 2020 and 2021 to check for any rate hike that may be an unlawful increase. If you are one of the businesses who have been taxed at higher rates due to layoff from the pandemic you can challenge the increase. Contact NMBC at (505) 836-4223 or at nmbiz@nmbizcoalition.org for more information and resources.