when the guys who write your budget ask you to stop in.
Apparently, Lynn Holmes
— the Commerce Department Assistant Secretary
in charge of the Employment Security Commission
— declined to speak to the Revenue Laws Committee today.
So the Revenue Laws Committee took the unusual step
of issuing a subpoena...
The committee wanted to talk to Holmes
about the state’s mounting debt to the federal government
that has been accumulated in order to pay unemployment benefits.
Holmes ...wrote legislative leaders
...that employers soon will have to begin paying a little extra
on their federal unemployment insurance tax
because lawmakers took "no substantive action" this year
on how to pay down $2.5 billion in debt it owes the federal government
for paying benefits.
The extended debt will result in employers receiving
effectively an additional 0.3 percentage point on their rates, she wrote.
The new rate of 0.9 percent will occur automatically.
"The General Assembly has the primary authority
to address how the state will repay the principal
of that debt," Holmes wrote.
...The debt issue is touchy for both political parties
because lawmakers and labor experts say any solution
ultimately will require the state's businesses
to pay even higher unemployment insurance taxes
to pay off the debt over the next decade.
North Carolina has tripped automatic triggers
that require the state to raise unemployment insurance taxes