Gray: Small business owners pay the price for dysfunction in Albany

News release

WATERTOWN, NY —  Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) is shedding light on the misappropriation of finances by state leaders that has resulted in surging unemployment insurance costs for small business employers. The Interest Assessment Surcharge (IAS) is a surcharge on employers that the state uses to repay the state’s interest that it owes to the federal Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund (UITF), a $10 billion loan taken at the onset of the pandemic.

This is the second year that the IAS is being assessed, and payments will continue until the interest has fully been paid off. The IAS must be paid within 30 days of receipt of the bill, and this must be completed by the employer, not a third-party entity.

“The IAS is an unnecessary burden placed on hard-working small business owners. Policies such as this are a textbook example as to why business owners struggle in New York and why we are one of the leading states in terms of outward migration,” Gray said.

“New York was one of the only states in the nation to not use COVID relief funds to repay pandemic unemployment debt. To force small business owners to foot the bill for the state’s mismanagement of funds is wrong and detrimental to small businesses struggling to operate in the state as well as to the recruitment of new economic development to the state. As a small business owner myself, I understand the challenges that come with running a business in New York, and I recognize that promoting job creation and growth for small businesses requires the state to prioritize responsible fiscal management.”

“Simply put, the burden must be taken off small business owners—they are not responsible for our state’s predicament, so why should they pay for it? Using unexpected revenues from financial settlements is one way the state can repay the federal government without threatening mom-and-pop stores and small businesses already struggling under economic pressures. Let’s reel in the spending and use unanticipated revenues to close the gap on our debt,” Gray concluded.