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Gordon’s order cuts break to businesses on unemployment insurance

Governor Mark Gordon (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordon has signed an executive order (EO) that will “provide significant tax relief to eligible Wyoming businesses,” according to release from the governor’s office Friday.

“This will come in the form of a tax credit and by offsetting some potential increases to their unemployment insurance (UI) taxes in the future,” the release said.

Wyoming employers will see a decrease in their unemployment tax rates after October 31 and will be notified by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services of the value of credits that can be applied to future unemployment taxes, the release said. 

The Executive Order removes all UI benefit claims between March 13 and Dec. 31, 2020 from eligible businesses whose accounts were charged for those claims. The EO was authorized by the Legislature in 2020 and it ensures that these employers do not continue to experience significant UI tax rate increases due to the system-wide surge in unemployment claims that occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It will also provide credits to employers who experienced increased unemployment taxes already paid in 2021,” the release said.

“We recognize that every employer in the state was impacted in some way by the pandemic, and many saw their unemployment insurance rates increase — some substantially — this year,” Gordon said in the release. 

“This Executive Order protects Wyoming businesses that have continually risen to the challenges in this new environment,” Gordon added 

Gordon said he will use $58 million in federal funds to backfill Wyoming’s UI Trust Fund, “to ensure that this tax relief will not impact future tax rates.”

Gordon previously added $64 million to that trust fund, which has already helped keep rates from going up even further. 

“It is important that we ensure that this significant tax relief does not necessitate an increase in UI tax rates at a later date,” the Governor said.