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Gov. Carney signs unemployment tax relief bill

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WILMINGTON – Gov. John Carney on Monday signed House Bill 65, which provides unemployment tax relief for Delawareans and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Osienski and Sen. Jack Walsh, waives 2020 state income tax on unemployment benefits collected by Delawareans who lost a job or income over the course of the year. 

“This past year, we significantly expanded unemployment benefits to support Delawareans and businesses most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We should then turn around and tax them on that income,” Carney said in a statement. “Thank you to Representative Osienski, Senator Walsh and all members of the General Assembly for helping make this legislation a priority.”

“Thousands of hard-working Delawareans have lost their jobs during the past year through no fault of their own, putting them in a difficult position at one of the worst times possible. We owe it to those impacted by the pandemic to take whatever action we can to ease their burden,” Osienski (D-Brookside) added in a statement. “Exempting the unemployment benefits that have been a lifeline to so many families will mean that they aren’t blindsided when they file their state taxes this year, keeping a little more money in their pockets. We’re also taking steps to protect businesses so they aren’t penalized with higher taxes during the pandemic, which hopefully will help them keep their doors open.”

“Taxes are quickly coming due for thousands of Delawareans who have made less, had fewer opportunities, and been put out of work by the pandemic,” Walsh (D-Stanton) said in a statement. “In a tax year defined by unemployment and shuttered businesses, it’s on all of us in state government to extend relief that is straightforward, effective, and gets where it needs to go on time. This bill does that, both for our small businesses and for the tens of thousands of workers who filed for unemployment last year. I am proud to have worked on this legislation and I thank the Governor for signing it in time to do the most good.”

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