Last week, I discussed how Massachusetts is hemorrhaging people. The plains and simple truth is that there are many, many reasons why the state is nicknamed “Taxachusetts,” reasons such as income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, water taxes, auto excise taxes, inheritance taxes… well you get the idea. Officials have been trying to woo new businesses into coming to Massachusetts, encouraging existing employers to expand, and in general trying to reverse the trend of folks getting the hell out of Dodge.
So, what’s the latest brainstorm to sweep through the legislature? More benefits to workers, in the form of the nation’s most generous paid family leave program.
According to the Boston Globe, employees dealing with childbirth, adoption, or caring for a sick family member could get up to 12 weeks of paid leave, up to $750/week. The Glob says this would be funded by a new payroll tax, of at least $1.50 per week — and if the Globe says that is the minimum, you can be damned sure it’ll actually start at double that, and go north from there.
So any employers who are thinking of hiring folks in Massachusetts, here’s yet another tax you get to pay, another set of forms to fill out, and another factor to take into consideration: will this employee up and vanish for three months on my dime, and will I get stuck paying for both them and their replacement? How much time will it take for that replacement to get up to speed? And what will I do with their replacement once they return?
There’s an old saying — “when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.” In Massachusetts, it seems, the first thing to do is get a bigger shovel.
Massachusetts legislators are among the most compassionate people on earth — and it’s no wonder. Anyone can be remarkably generous and understanding when they get to stick other people with the bill — and those who end up footing the bill never get mad enough to vote the swine out of office. (My apologies to pigs everywhere.)