LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Inslee approves 18-month delay on long-term care tax

Jan 26, 2022, 3:50 PM | Updated: Jan 28, 2022, 8:50 am
Gov. Jay Inslee, long-term care tax...
Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill to delay the state's long-term care tax. (Courtesy photo from the governor's office)
(Courtesy photo from the governor's office)

Gov. Jay Inslee announced in a Thursday press conference that he had approved the Legislature’s delay of the long-term care payroll tax following the state Senate’s vote to delay its implementation Jan. 26.

State House passes 18 month delay for long-term care tax

The tax — known more formally as WA Cares — was originally passed during the 2021 legislative session to help cover costs of long-term care that the majority of Washingtonians are not saving for, and avoid forcing people to spend their way into poverty.

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, 2021.

It was a first-in-the-nation program when it was passed by the Legislature in 2021, but apprehension grew as its implementation drew near, with concerns over people paying into the fund not being able to access the benefit should they move out of state, or those who work in Washington but live in a border state not being able to access the benefit at all.

Then, in December of 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee instructed the state Employment Security Department not to collect the tax to allow the Legislature time to make necessary changes. But because employers were still technically permitted to begin deducting it from worker paychecks at the start of the new year, a more expansive legislative solution was drawn up.

That took the form of HB 1732, which will now delay the program for 18 months to July of 2023. The bill also “enables near-retirees to qualify for partial benefits.” Democrats in the Legislature pushed to fast-track the bill, having passed it out of the state House last week by a 91-6-1 margin, and then in the Senate this week by a 46-3 margin.

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

A second bill, HB 1733, was signed by Gov. Inslee this week as well, and will allow veterans with disabilities, military service member spouses or domestic partners, workers on temporary nonimmigrant visas, and employees who work in Washington but live in a different state to opt out of the tax.

KIRO Newsradio reporter Hanna Scott contributed to this story.

Local News

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)...
MyNorthwest Staff

Copper River Salmon is back with its most inflated price yet

Alaska’s Copper River salmon arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday morning, marking the start of the season for the popular fish.
1 day ago
Students working in a sloyd room at the Indian Industrial School. (Photo courtesy of the William A....
Frank Sumrall

Federal Indian boarding schools implemented systematic cultural whitewashing, new report reveals

The U.S. Interior Department published a report detailing the atrocities committed at boarding schools against Indigenous people. 
1 day ago
vouchers...
Dalton Day

What Seattle’s recent election reveals about the success of democracy vouchers

Andrew Grant Houston's campaign for mayor asks questions about the success or failure of Seattle's democracy vouchers program.
1 day ago
Blood reserves are filtered and processed in the central laboratory of the DRK blood donation servi...
Nicole Jennings

PNW blood platelet shortage no longer ‘critical,’ but 2,000 donations still needed

The Pacific Northwest is in need of thousands of blood platelet donations. Blood platelets stop us from bleeding to death when we have a cut.
1 day ago
Follow @http://twitter.com/Mynorthwest...
MyNorthwest Staff

ORCA overhauls system with added features and updated card readers

ORCA's highly-anticipated new website, smartphone app, and real-time value loading for cards launched today for hundred of thousands of transit customers.
2 days ago
ExperTec Automotive technician Adelmo Rodriguez etches a catalytic converter with the cars license ...
Micki Gamez

Catalytic converter theft runs rampant in Seattle, nation sees dramatic increase

Catalytic converters became a hot commodity during the pandemic due to the high-priced metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, within them.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

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.
Gov. Inslee approves 18-month delay on long-term care tax