JTR

FMLA Tax

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There was another topic started about new taxes in MA, but it wasn’t really to specific about which new tax. So I’ll start this one. I had no recollection of ever voting on or even hearing about this tax being passed, so I did some deep digging. This is what I found.

 

Charlie Baker, our “Republican” governor (who’s campaign promise in 2014 was no new taxes), signed this tax without a vote from our people. The very large majority of us will see money coming out of our paychecks starting now, as a result of this autonomous decision.

 

Also signed into effect simultaneously is an increase of the MA minimum wage to $15 (by 2023). Yes, you read that right - 2023. We hear all about how $15 an hour is the minimum wage that people need to survive. Charlie Baker made it a reality! Those of us that work at Burger King and make the $11/hr minimum wage can now look forward to $0.75/hr raises every YEAR from now till 2023, when they finally make $15 an hour. What a relief.

 

There is one benefit of this signing by the governor though - a permanent annual sales tax holiday. We now have a weekend in August that will be sales tax free, excluding alcohol, marijuana, cars and single purchases over $2500.

 

***** Here’s the flip side. All of the above issues were slated to be voted on by the public as questions on the ballot.

 

1) The minimum wage question that was proposed was to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr by 2022 - one year ahead of the time frame that Baker signed in. Baker was willing to give the minimum wage proponents a guaranteed $15, if they waited one extra year - seems fair.
 

2) The FMLA tax takes 0.75% total from each employee’s pay. The responsibility is shared and the max impact to an employee is about 0.38% of their income. To the household making $100,000, this equals about $400 annually. This is estimated to increase the total taxes brought in by the state by $750-$800 million annually.

 

3) The ballot question for the permanent tax holiday included decreasing the sales tax back to 5%. The people of MA would have had a yes or no chance to vote the sales tax back to 5% AND have a permanent sales tax holiday weekend. What a shame that our republican governor didn’t let this one go to a vote. I mean, why would we ever let the people vote on something so ludicrous?

 

Pardon my interjections, but does anyone else see a major issue with what is happening? Seems to me that the people of MA were most likely going to vote to pay less, yet the governor decided that that wouldn’t be a good thing and decided to supersede a vote and pass what he wanted to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My sister was telling me about #2 and I was skeptic because she wasn't being clear on what it was. Now reading that makes more sense. 

 

She was telling me we start to get tax so when we go out sick or sick leave, those will be the money covering our pay... 

Edited by foxfai

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Good overview re: 1), 2), 3).

 

I'm not a fan of Charlie Baker.  Fact is,  I never cozied up to any politician.

 

What Baker did clearly sends a message to the base he hopes to covet.  Unfortunately, it hurts many others. 

 

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1 hour ago, foxfai said:

My sister was telling me about #2 and I was skeptic because she wasn't being clear on what it was. Now reading that makes more sense. 

 

She was telling me we start to get tax so when we go out sick or sick leave, those will be the money covering our pay... 

 

Nope they are just forcing employers with 50 or more employees I believe to give up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for serious health issues without fear of losing your job. You can get paid if you have accrued enough vaca/sick/personal time at your job to use towards your 12 weeks unpaid leave. It’s a screw job by the state to get more tax money. They are not giving anybody paid leave.

Edited by CcCstriper89

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13 mins ago, CcCstriper89 said:

 

Nope they are just forcing employers with 50 or more employees I believe to give up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for serious health issues without fear of losing your job. You can get paid if you have accrued enough vaca/sick/personal time at your job to use towards your 12 weeks unpaid leave. It’s a screw job by the state to get more tax money. They are not giving anybody paid leave.

Employers with 25 employees. 12 weeks for a family member illness 20 weeks for your own illness 26 weeks for a military deployment . Benefits up to $850 a week. 

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/BB893CD8-E90D-11E9-81A9-F892F9276069

Edited by alpha baiter

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13 mins ago, alpha baiter said:

Employers with 25 employees. 12 weeks for a family member illness 20 weeks for your own illness 26 weeks for a military deployment . Benefits up to $850 a week. 

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/BB893CD8-E90D-11E9-81A9-F892F9276069

 Interesting. None of that is on the ma.gov site yet that I could find. 

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So, what that means is the state will be collecting tax money without having to pay out any benefits for almost 2 years. I wonder what the state will do with that money, since it is earmarked solely for "Paid Family and Medical Leave" events?

Surely they won't be "tossing" it in with the rest of their rainy-day funds, right?

Surely the won't be spending it on some idiotic wet-dream project that didn't need doing, right?

Surely we can trust our state political hacks to do what's in OUR best interest and not theirs or their party's, RIGHT?

 

Anyone believing these statements please stand on your head!

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10 hours ago, JTR said:

 

Charlie Baker, our “Republican” governor (who’s campaign promise in 2014 was no new taxes)

 

He already blew that promise with EMAC

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22 mins ago, FishermanTim said:

So, what that means is the state will be collecting tax money without having to pay out any benefits for almost 2 years. I wonder what the state will do with that money, since it is earmarked solely for "Paid Family and Medical Leave" events?

Surely they won't be "tossing" it in with the rest of their rainy-day funds, right?

Surely the won't be spending it on some idiotic wet-dream project that didn't need doing, right?

Surely we can trust our state political hacks to do what's in OUR best interest and not theirs or their party's, RIGHT?

 

Anyone believing these statements please stand on your head!

Probably hire a bunch of buddies to manage the new program and pay them an absurd amount of money more than the majority of people paying into it?

Edited by alpha baiter

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Here’s my question:

 

For those of us that already pay for long term disability or are provided those benefits through our employers, are we literally paying for nothing?

 

I highly doubt that any provider AND the state will simultaneously pay benefits.

Edited by JTR

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56 mins ago, JTR said:

Here’s my question:

 

For those of us that already pay for long term disability or are provided those benefits through our employers, are we literally paying for nothing?

 

I highly doubt that any provider AND the state will simultaneously pay benefits.

Be paying for the people that dont

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1 hour ago, JTR said:

Here’s my question:

 

For those of us that already pay for long term disability or are provided those benefits through our employers, are we literally paying for nothing?

 

I highly doubt that any provider AND the state will simultaneously pay benefits.

The employer can apply for an exemption if they provide the same benefits. Check out the private plan section of the document I posted earlier. 

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7 mins ago, z-man said:

The employer can apply for an exemption if they provide the same benefits. Check out the private plan section of the document I posted earlier. 

But does that exempt the employees contribution? I don't think it does. Also the plan must be "as good" as the states. I imagine very few employers offer 3 months paid leave for someone other than the employee themselves getting sick. 

Edited by alpha baiter

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