KTTH

State lawmaker calls for halt on new long-term care tax, claims ‘it’s not set up to work’

Oct 8, 2021, 10:07 AM | Updated: 10:59 am
long-term care tax...
(Photo by Tobias Hase/picture alliance via Getty Images)
(Photo by Tobias Hase/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Gov. Jay Inslee’s newest payroll tax, signed into law in April, will take effect in January 2022. State lawmakers are fighting back against it, claiming that the long-term care tax has a number of inconsistencies that must be addressed before it can proceed.

The tax is a premium on $0.58 for every $100 earned. The money is put towards the WA Cares Fund, a long-term care insurance fund for Washingtonians. The deadline to opt out of the program is Nov. 1, but that process is contingent on having private long-term care insurance.

Business groups ask governor to intervene before long-term care tax takes effect

Sen. Shelly Short (R-Addy) appeared on KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show to discuss her issues with the law: Namely, that the law does not accommodate those who work in the state, but live outside it. She is calling for the payroll tax to be put on hold until the Legislature can address this issue, among others.

“The case is that several issues have come up, even my Democratic colleagues will admit, how do you deal with workers who may live in a different state, but work in Washington?” Short asked. “There are numerous examples of how it’s not set up to work.”

“The thing that we could most appropriately do, because the program is not active yet, is to put it on hold, address the issues, and then go from there,” she said.

Short clarified how Gov. Inslee has the authority to pause the tax under the state of emergency.

“Look, I’m going to tell you and listeners, I’m no fan of the state of emergency,” Short said. “I think it ended a long time ago. But the reality is that it’s still here, so he does have the authority and could do that if he chooses. He could actually put it on hold.”

“Why would we not take that prudent step, and say, ‘let’s pause, and let’s fix things?’ Now, I’ll just share in my estimation, I think the whole thing ought to be repealed. I fought against the law because this is a tax on hard working people, and they can simply raise the amount of tax they take out of your check with a simple majority vote. They can expand what it covers with a simple majority vote. That’s no protection. That’s zero protection for hardworking Washingtonians.”

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State lawmaker calls for halt on new long-term care tax, claims ‘it’s not set up to work’