No unemployment tax windfall

October 16, 2012

As a certified public accountant servicing small businesses and their owners, and cramming on the final extension tax deadline day of the year, I almost got excited when I saw the headline, "Businesses may see big 2013 tax drop" (Oct. 15). The article states how Maryland's unemployment tax may fall by 55 percent, and it goes on to gush that this will "give businesses a boost as they use that money for other purposes."

For my CPA firm (and for most of my clients), the Maryland unemployment tax makes up around 1 percent of my yearly payroll tax bill. So I will save about half-a-percent of my yearly payroll tax tithings. If I were to calculate the percentage, taking into account income taxes, sales taxes, personal property taxes, gasoline tax, utilities taxes, etc., the percentage would be laughably small.

Don't get me wrong, every little bit helps, and my clients and I appreciate and desperately need the break. However, the article's tone seems to suggest that this will be some kind of major game changer. It will not. At least there is one interviewee suggesting that the tax cut is too small to make a huge difference, buried among the Pollyanna exclamations of "great news for the state" and ruminations that the cut might pay to "maybe even hire someone."

I suggest The Sun remove its rose-colored glasses while I order the pizzas for my staff that this tax cut will pay for. Now, we can probably even afford an extra topping!

Jonathan Mayo, Baltimore

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