Gov. Henry McMaster said today the state won’t need to raise unemployment taxes on most businesses in 2021.
Speaking at a news conference at the State Capitol, McMaster said the COVID-19 pandemic had nearly depleted South Carolina’s unemployment trust fund, but lawmakers voted to replenish the fund through $920 million in federal pandemic assistance.
The governor was joined by other government officials and business leaders including NFIB State Director Ben Homeyer, who thanked the governor, the General Assembly and Department of Employment and Workforce Director Dan Ellzey for working together to help workers who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus and avoid a tax increase on employers.
“Those of us who came through the last economic downturn over a decade ago recall how devastating the bankruptcy of the UI trust fund was and how the rate changes that went along with it were … to business all throughout South Carolina,” Homeyer said. “It took years to recover.”
“When COVID first hit in March, those of us in the business community began having talks about what was going to come next. Governor McMaster and his staff and Director Elzie and his staff called a number of us right away and those discussions immediately turned to discussions with the General Assembly….
“We saw unemployment numbers grow, and it was staggering,” Homeyer said. “I have spoken with folks in neighboring states, and they are in awe of what South Carolina was able to do and able to accomplish working with the governor and working with the General Assembly putting this $920 million in place, freezing the rates, getting our trust fund to be solvent again. Multiple states are looking at bankruptcy, which we are not going to have, and we’re so lucky that we’ve been able to work together with this.”