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Posted: 4:47 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013
By Erica Bryant
NORTH CAROLINA —
Starting this July the unemployed in North Carolina could see their benefit checks cut by nearly $200 a week. On Tuesday the legislative committee approved a proposal to reduce the payout because the state is in debt, owing billions to the federal government. For those in the unemployment line, news that benefits will soon likely be cut causes concern. The maximum weekly benefit would drop from $535 to $350 and replace 26 weeks of payouts to a cap of between 13 and 20. Supporters of the change insist that it must be done. If the state does not pay back the funds by the deadline, the Charlotte Chamber said the tax rate on businesses will go up astronomically. "If you think about it and business is the one that creates jobs, if there is burden on businesses, like an increased tax on business, then they are not likely to create jobs," said Natalie English. Employers pay 100 percent of the unemployment insurance tax. Businesses would be forced to pay an additional $189 per employee if the General Assembly does not take action when it convenes later this month. Those lobbying to repay the money now said with this solution the rate would still go up, just not as much, reducing the negative impact on the state and the burden on business. "What we're trying to do is make that as minimal an increase as possible because taxes on business tend to inhibits business growth," said English.
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