Gov. Mike Parson authorized a transfer of $300 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds from the State Treasury to the state’s UI Trust Fund to help keep the Trust Fund balance above the level that would trigger an increase in contribution tax rates for Missouri businesses.
“With over 96% of Missouri’s businesses employing 50 or fewer employees, these additional funds will help prevent tax increases for our small businesses and strengthen the UI Trust Fund," Parson said Monday, March 22. "Despite the unprecedented rise in unemployment caused by COVID-19 this past year, our economy continues to come back strong as businesses reopen and Missourians get back to work. We have come a long way since the early days of this pandemic, and an increase in taxes is the last thing Missouri employers need as we continue our recovery."
Missouri employers wholly fund the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund from which state unemployment benefits are provided to eligible workers who have lost their jobs. With thousands of Missourians unemployed during the pandemic, Missouri businesses would have likely seen an increase in their unemployment taxes to replenish the trust fund, without this action, states a governor's office release.
“Small businesses employ over 45% of our workforce here in the state. These funds will provide those employers a better sense of economic security encouraging them to employ or reemploy workers. These efforts are critical to allowing small businesses to reopen, recover and grow," Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anna Hui said. "We continue to look for ways to be fiscally responsible in assisting businesses and individuals in the state in recovering from the pandemic. Today’s action helps businesses by enabling them to employ more workers and create sustainable economic prosperity across Missouri.”