State Unemployment Trust Fund Loan Repaid

Monday, May 19, 2014

Gov. Nathan Deal and State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced that the almost $1 billion federal loan used to help pay state unemployment insurance benefits since 2009 has been repaid. The final payment of $62,490,887.99 was sent to the U.S. Department of Labor on May 14 and the GDOL has received confirmation that the loan balance is paid. The original projected payoff date was 2016.

“Emerging from the Great Recession, a top priority of my administration has been putting Georgians back to work, and this news proves we are making great strides,” Gov.

Deal said. “Georgia’s ability to pay off its unemployment trust fund loan two years early is a testament to the determination of Georgia employers, the Georgia Department of Labor and our state’s General Assembly. Working together, we have accomplished much, and I remain committed to keeping Georgia the premier state in the nation for business.”

In 2012, the Georgia General Assembly enacted legislation designed to strengthen the state unemployment insurance trust fund and help repay the loan. The legislation increased the amount of base wages used to calculate employer UI taxes from $8,500 to $9,500. It reduced the maximum period a person can receive benefits from 26 weeks to a maximum of 14 to 20 weeks based on a sliding scale tied to the state unemployment rate.

"Georgia has repaid the federal government two years earlier than expected and the bulk of the credit goes to Georgia employers who pay the unemployment insurance taxes and have put more than 175,000 Georgians back to work,” said Comm. Butler. “I want to thank Gov. Deal and the General Assembly for their assistance in making necessary changes to the unemployment laws, which, along with the GDOL's efforts to combat fraud and put Georgians back to work, have greatly helped repay the loan early."

Georgia’s unemployment insurance trust fund had a balance of $1.3 billion in December 2007 when the recession began and unemployment stood at 5.1 percent. As the recession lingered, hundreds of thousands of Georgians lost their jobs and were unable to find new ones. By December 2009, the unemployment rate had more than doubled to 10.4 percent, the trust fund was depleted, and Georgia was forced to join more than 30 other states in borrowing from the federal government to pay state benefits.  From the time of the first loan through March 2014, Georgia paid $3.9 billion in state UI benefits.

To date, the state has borrowed a total of  $956,389,306.63 to help make the payments. Georgia has paid $56,723,741.02 in interest. While the loan principal has been repaid, the final interest payment of approximately $2.7 million will be due and paid by September 30. The total payback will be approximately $1 billion.

Employers in states borrowing from the federal government to pay UI benefits eventually have to pay a higher rate of federal unemployment taxes (FUTA) until the debt is repaid. All of the additional federal unemployment taxes are used to repay the loan balance. States also use revenue from state unemployment insurance taxes (SUTA) to repay the loan. Interest payments are funded by general state revenue.

“By repaying the loan early, it will save our employers from having to pay approximately $600 million in additional federal unemployment taxes,” said Butler. “That money can now be used to create jobs and grow our state’s economy. And, now that the loan is repaid, our employers will see a reduction of $63 per employee in their federal unemployment taxes beginning in January.”

The state unemployment insurance trust fund has a current balance of $355,827,774.92.

The state does not expect to have to borrow again, based on current economic trends.

There are 14 other states that have not repaid their loans, as of Friday.

Video (Quicktime) and audio (mp3) comments from Commissioner Butler are available for download.

For video, go to: http://www.mediafire.com/watch/k54e2ydn9tiaeot/Commissioner_Mark_Butler_comments_on_Trust_Fund_Loan_Payoff.mov

For audio, go to: https://www.mediafire.com/?6zq6lh6cr0f5l7l



TBI Releases Annual Statewide Crime Study, Revealing Increases Across Tennessee

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released its 2017 ‘Crime in Tennessee’ report on Friday, revealing a slight overall increase in reported instances of crime in the most recent reporting year. The annual study compiles data reported from each law enforcement agency in the state through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS). The TBI’s sophisticated crime ... (click for more)

Reliance Partners Announces New V.P. Of Risk Services, John Seidl

Reliance Partners announced the addition of John Seidl as V.P. of Risk Services. Mr. Seidl is recognized as a leading expert in DOT commercial transportation compliance.   As a former Wisconsin State Motor Carrier Trooper and FMCSA investigator with more than 20 years of experience in risk services, Mr. Seidl is well-versed in the transportation insurance space. He ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Plane Crash At The Collegedale Airport

A person was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening. Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane is a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said the person who died frequently had flown out of the Collegedale Airport. The FAA and NTSB are investigating ... (click for more)

$26.2 Million Grant Awarded For Bradley County Veterans Home

A $26.2 million U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs State Veterans Home Grant has been awarded for the construction of the future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home. “Today is a monumental day for the veterans of East Tennessee, and I am thrilled that they have finally received the long overdue grant funding for the Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home," said ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)