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Unemployment Taxes Cut for First Time in 25 Years

Rhode Island Employers to Save About $30 Million a Year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Further improving Rhode Island's business climate and strengthening support for the state's existing businesses, Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced that employers will see a significant reduction in their unemployment tax rate for the first time in 25 years.

Collectively, Rhode Island employers will save about $30 million annually starting in 2017.

"Since my first day in office, my goal has been to make Rhode Island work again by supporting existing businesses, attracting new business to Rhode Island and fostering a climate where employers can create jobs for Rhode Islanders at all rungs of the economic ladder," Raimondo said. "Working together with the General Assembly, we have lowered the Unemployment Insurance tax for the first time since 1992 and put $30 million back on the books of companies. I will continue to fight for reforms that strengthen Rhode Island and give Rhode Islanders from all walks of life the chances they need and deserve."

Last session, the Rhode Island General Assembly approved Governor Gina M. Raimondo's proposal to revise the antiquated rate schedule and bring the state's average per-employee tax liability closer in line with neighboring states. This resulted in an average tax cut of $77 per employee for businesses and improved the fairness of the system.

"Unemployment Insurance rates are a significant obstacle to Main Street's growth, which we needed to address to improve the fundamentals of our business climate," said Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello. "I am proud that we listened to the small business community and were able to provide meaningful relief on this cost driver. The House's primary focus for the last two years has been to make Rhode Island's business costs and tax structure regionally competitive and this is another step in the right direction." President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, "The reduction of the Unemployment Insurance tax is an important part of our work to improve Rhode Island's economic competitiveness through lower business and personal taxes and reduced regulatory burdens. Our state's turnaround is gaining momentum thanks to sustained investments in our economic future."

"As a company with deep roots in Rhode Island, we understand the importance of attracting more businesses to our state, and keeping those we have," said Robert A. DiMuccio, chairman, president and CEO of Amica Insurance. "Reforms such as this will go a long way in helping us do just that for businesses large and small."

"Many factors go into a company's decision to operate in a state or relocate to another. The Raimondo administration aims to give employers as many compelling reasons as possible to choose Rhode Island - and to grow here," said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "Thanks to the Governor and General Assembly, we have over a dozen investment tools to work with - and now this Unemployment Insurance tax cut makes Rhode Island an even better place to do business. Given these measures, we are able to make an ever stronger case to companies within our state as well as those considering Rhode Island for expansion or relocation."

"In order to have an economy that works for everyone, we need to have a stable and efficient Unemployment Insurance program," said Scott Jensen, Director of the RI Department of Labor and Training. "This announcement today shows that we're making progress."

Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary income support to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and meet the monetary requirements. It is funded entirely from state and federal UI taxes paid by Rhode Island's 33,000 employers.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training is notifying employers of their new tax rates.

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