Massachusetts Sees Slight Payroll Tax Cut To Start 2023

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By Dave Fidlin
The Center Square Contributor

Massachusetts employers of all sizes and industries have a new set of rates for the state’s two-year-old law pertaining to paid family medical leave.

Beginning January 1, maximum weekly benefits increased from the 2022 rate of $1,084.31 to $1,129.82 in the new year.

Employees in Massachusetts can tap into the program for a variety of reasons, including serious health conditions, bonding with a new child, military deployments, and caring for a family member with a serious health condition.

Employer contribution rates into the program are decreasing in 2023, based on a tiered system related to a company’s or organization’s number of employees.

Massachusetts employers with fewer than 25 qualifying people on payroll will pay into the program at a rate of 0.318 percent, which is a 0.026 percent decrease from the 2022 rate of 0.344 percent. The contribution formula is based on a mixture of 0.208 percent for medical leave and 0.11 percent for family leave.

Contribution rates for employers with 25 or more qualifying people on payroll are 0.05 percent less into paid family medical leave in 2023, from the 2022 rate of 0.68 percent to 0.63 percent. The 2023 formula for this employer category consists of 0.52 percent toward medical leave and 0.11 percent toward family leave.

Former governor Charlie Baker supported the program when it first was introduced in legislation filed four-and-a-half years ago.

Baker in 2018 signed into law House Bill 4640, also known as the “Grand Bargain.”

Paid family medical leave was one component of the Grand Bargain. Other provisions of the legislation included raising the Massachusetts minimum wage from an hourly rate of $11 to $15 through a series of incremental increases that began in 2019 and concludeD JANUARY , 2023.

The legislation also created a permanent two-day weekend sales tax holiday that at the time was part of an economic development bill introduced by Baker and then-Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.

“The Massachusetts workforce continues to grow with more and more people finding jobs, and our administration is committed to maintaining the commonwealth’s competitive economic environment,” Baker said in 2018 when he signed the legislation.


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