February 15, 2011
Washington Reduces 2011 Unemployment Tax Rates for Most Employers
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire recently signed Engrossed House Bill 1091 and Senate Bill 5135 into law. As a result, most employers will have their rates reduced from the already announced 2011 employer tax rates.

Washington Employment Security Department Releases Fact Sheet

According to a fact sheet released by the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD):

Tax rates for 2011 will be reduced for 90 percent of Washington employers. In fact, about half of them will pay lower rates than in 2010. The reduction will save employers $300 million in 2011, with a total savings of about $360 million from 2011 through 2017.

Going into 2011, unemployment tax rates were projected to increase by an average of 36 percent due to widespread layoffs during the recession. Even employers with few or no layoffs faced high increases because the shared (social) costs of the insurance system had increased substantially. Meanwhile, Washington’s unemployment trust fund has remained among the healthiest in the country. This provided a unique opportunity to provide tax relief to employers without jeopardizing the benefits fund.

The new law caps the social-cost component of the unemployment tax and lowers the multipliers that set the social-cost tax rate for rate classes 1-20 (rate classes 21-40 were unchanged). [ESD] will send revised tax-rate notices to affected businesses in March.

Vision Payroll Will Use Revised Rates in First Quarter Returns

Once issued by the ESD, Vision Payroll will adjust the rates for its clients in Washington to reflect the revised rates.


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