By John S. McClenahen August may be the month of vacation for many, but Eric Oxfeld, president of the Washington, D.C.-based UWC-Startegic Services on Unemployment & Workers' Compensation, is busy calling on the states and federal government to reduce the unemployment tax burden in hopes of boosting the U.S. economy. He claims U.S. Labor Department data show that average state unemployment tax rates on employers for 2004 are nearly 50% higher than 2002 rates as a percentage of total wages. Oxfeld is urging states to take advantage of new congressional authority to reduce unemployment insurance fraud and overpayments. He wants Congress to repeal the "temporary" 0.2% Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) surtax. And he wants the federal government to give back to the states $9 billion of "unnecessary" FUTA taxes employers have already paid.