Date: January 24, 2017

BOSTON (January 24, 2017): The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) will be paying close attention to this evening’s State of the Commonwealth by Governor Baker. The state’s leading small business advocacy group is hoping to hear the Governor address the rising costs of healthcare and other increasing payroll costs facing business owners. “Although the Commonwealth may appear to have successfully solved the challenges of healthcare coverage, the problem of the costs of healthcare is rapidly becoming a full-blown crisis for small business owners and taxpayers,” according to Bill Vernon, Massachusetts State Director. “With loose eligibility standards and rising costs, 30% of our residents are on a taxpayer subsidized health care plan. The small business community did not create this problem but is paying for that coverage, and now perhaps a new tax as well.” “It is time for Governor Baker to end the era of big government and big health care working together to the detriment of small business and individual consumers,” Vernon said. Governor Baker will deliver his second State of the Commonwealth tonight at 7 pm. He is anticipated to tout many of his successes since taking office, including a historically low unemployment rate and fixes to various state agencies. Baker continues to receive bipartisan support from voters, but as costs to do business in Massachusetts rise, his challenge will most likely lie in creating a fiscal environment that will allow the state’s economic engine to continue to thrive. “In order for small employers to continue to grow everywhere in the Commonwealth, the problem of the high cost of employing people, especially rapidly increasing health care costs, must be addressed. Increasing employers’ taxes does not reduce employers’ costs. But reducing the payroll burden on employers will ensure that our employment rate not only remains low but continues to drop across the state as small businesses expand and even more jobs are created,” concluded Vernon.

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