After putting it to the taxpayers of the Sunshine State with an estimated $2 billion over two years in tobacco taxes (an extra $1 a pack on cigarettes) and an estimated $800 million in what they call fee increases (many of which are misnamed tax increases), the legislature and Governor also preceded to pass and sign an unemployment tax hike on businesses.  Click here to see ATR’s press release on Governor Crist’s tax hiking misstep last week. 

Senate Bill 810, a tax hike signed Monday by Governor Crist hiked the unemployment tax by requiring more earnings to be subject to the tax.  Florida law was change to require that the first $8,500 of earnings be taxed, a $1,500 increase over the current level of $7,000.  This change in law starts on January 1, 2010 and will be in effect for 5 years.  To put this in perspective, this would tax a small business with 10 employees an estimated $500 extra in taxes per year.  Yes the bill extends benefits to the jobless, but in a down economy, it is hiking taxes on businesses, the engines that we need to see spurring job creation to fix the problem. 

Governor Crist needs to layoff of this tax hiking habit that he seems to have adopted over the last few weeks.  Taxes disincentivize job creation.  He in turn is only hurting those he claims to help with the signing of this bill.