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Summary: HB 939 seeks to eliminate the employment training investment assessment (ETIA) and return these funds to Texas employers. Under the ETIA, which is one of four tax rate components that comprise an employer’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Tax Rate, employers pay one-tenth of one percent of wages. ETIA draws approximately $92M annually from employers, so by eliminating the ETIA, this money is left to employers.
ETIA is used in part to finance the Skills Development Fund, but the Texas Workforce Commission currently has a base budget of $50 million to fund this program, making ETIA revenue unnecessary. HB 939 would also not raise taxes by eliminating ETIA because the bill also reduces the Replenishment Tax Rate (another tax rate in an employer’s overall UI tax rate) by the same amount.
Upon elimination, HB 939 allows up to 15 percent of the remaining ETIA funds to be used for workforce training programs to help individuals return to work or on other unemployment insurance programs, and returns the projected $90M balance to Texas employers through a tax rate credit on their UI tax rate.
Analysis: HB 939 leaves more resources to private employers to create new employment opportunities that benefit Texans, while still preserving much of Texas’ Unemployment Insurance system that is used to help struggling Texans get back to work as soon as possible. This makes the unemployment tax structure more visible and less marginally less burdensome for employers. We support HB 939.