LOCAL NEWS

State lawmakers seek to close crucial loophole in pause of long-term care tax

Jan 4, 2022, 1:45 PM
Long term care tax...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Washington lawmakers could soon be looking to close a crucial loophole in a recent delay of the state’s controversial long-term care tax.

Long-term care tax could still be taken out of paychecks despite delay from Gov. Inslee

In December 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that he would be delaying implementation of the tax through 2022, by instructing the Employment Security Department not to collect it while the state Legislature worked on modifications during the 2022 legislative session. But because Inslee does not have the authority to halt the tax entirely, employers are still permitted to collect the tax from workers themselves.

A newly-proposed bill from a pair of Democratic state lawmakers — state House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan and Rep. Frank Chopp — would seek to pause the tax in its entirety through June of 2023, effectively closing the employer collection loophole. The text of HB 1732 also outlines goals to widen the age range for those who would benefit from the tax, while refunding any premiums paid to employers during the delay period.

Taxes collected under the bill — known more formally as the WA Cares Fund — would be used to provide long-term care services and support worth up to $36,500 over a single Washingtonian’s lifetime.

“WA Cares Fund is a benefit you earn like Social Security that covers care in your home or a facility, as well as home modifications, meal delivery, car rides, and caregiver training,” the fund’s website reads.

Under the tax, all W2 employees who average 12.5 hours per week were initially set to see the deductions for the tax as of Jan. 1, 2022. A person earning $50,000 a year would pay $290 a year in additional taxes. Washingtonians could opt out of the tax, but that was contingent on having a separate private long-term care insurance policy in place by Nov. 1.

State senator proposes bill to repeal Washington’s long-term care tax

Leading up to the deadline to have that alternative in place, state leaders acknowledged that none of the 12 companies authorized to sell private long-term care insurance were offering new policies, effectively blocking Washingtonians from accessing the necessary means to opt out of the tax.

While the state’s Republican lawmakers have expressed a desire to repeal the tax entirely, others in the Legislature have highlighted how the fund will still help provide crucial resources, arguing that its larger issues revolve around modifying its implementation.

Local News

trash...
MyNorthwest Staff

Kent seeks refunds for missed trash pickups as collection resumes for Western Washington

Trash collection worker solidarity strikes ended Tuesday for Western Washington as Republic Services ratifies a new contract with Teamsters.
24 hours ago
COVID-19 deaths, Snohomish County...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

‘Occupancy is virtually 100%’: Just one available ICU bed in all of Snohomish County

As of Tuesday morning, there is only one intensive care bed available in all of Snohomish County, as hospitals continue to feel the strain.
24 hours ago
King County COVID...
Nick Bowman

King County COVID cases finally trending down, but ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’

After soaring to record numbers in January, COVID-19 cases in King County appear to finally be trending in a downward direction.
24 hours ago
Rumors camps...
Nick Bowman

UW expert: False rumors about forced quarantine for unvaccinated were ‘strategically amplified’

Rumors claiming that the state would soon be setting up forced quarantines for the unvaccinated spread like wildfire in recent weeks.
24 hours ago
vaccination...
MyNorthwest Staff

New mass COVID vaccination site opens in Snohomish County

A new indoor COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at the Everett Mall on Tuesday, and Snohomish County says a mass testing site is coming soon.
24 hours ago
Washington ferries...
MyNorthwest Staff

Washington ferries move ‘most routes’ to alternate schedules amid ongoing crew shortages

Washington state ferries have continued to deal with delays, staffing shortages, and reduced routes to kick of the new year.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
State lawmakers seek to close crucial loophole in pause of long-term care tax