Blog

November 30 , 2022 - Emily Makings

PFML task force votes on final rate structure recommendations

Today the Legislative Task Force on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Premiums voted to recommend changes to the paid family and medical leave (PFML) program rate structure. At the end of last week’s meeting of the task force, it didn’t sound like members would be prepared to vote today. But they apparently had productive […]


November 30 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Capital gains taxes in the November revenue forecast

In March, a Superior Court judge ruled that the state capital gains tax is unconstitutional. (Despite that, the Legislature chose to include capital gains revenues in the operating budget, as we explained here.) The state Supreme Court will hear the case on Jan. 26, but a decision could come after capital gains taxes are due […]


November 29 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Task force on paid family and medical leave premiums considers proposals to change the rate structure

The Legislative Task Force on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Premiums met last Tuesday to discuss five proposed recommendations for changes to the paid family and medical leave (PFML) premium rate structure. Premium rates would be above 0.6% in all scenarios through at least 2027. Changes are necessary because the program has run deficits […]


November 22 , 2022 - Jack Clark

Washington slips in business tax climate ranking after the introduction of the capital gains tax

Last month, the Tax Foundation released its 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index, in which Washington slipped dramatically to No. 28 from No. 15 the year prior. The State Business Tax Climate Index compares state tax structures. Here is how the index ranks Washington: Washington had the largest drop in overall tax structure ranking by a wide margin (the second largest […]


November 21 , 2022 - Emily Makings

The 2021 increase in private long-term care insurance coverage in Washington led the nation

New data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) show—unsurprisingly—that long-term care (LTC) insurance coverage jumped in Washington in 2021. The 2019 legislation establishing the state’s LTC program exempted people with private LTC insurance policies from the state program. This provision was amended in 2021 to specify that individuals had to purchase private LTC […]


November 15 , 2022 - Kriss Sjoblom

Tax Structure Work Group Nov. 14 Meeting

The Washington legislature’s Tax Structure Work Group (TSWG) met yesterday. Under a proviso in the 2021-23 state budget, TSWG is to develop revenue neutral state tax reform legislation for the 2023 session of the legislature. At its March 30 meeting, TSWG selected 5 reform concepts tor further elaboration and analysis by staff at the Department […]


November 15 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Businesses in Seattle pay 64% of city taxes

A new analysis from ECONorthwest (prepared for the Downtown Seattle Association) looks at taxes in Seattle. According to the report, “Since 2013, City of Seattle taxes collected have grown by 94 percent, while employment grew by 19 percent and population grew by 22 percent.” The city’s main sources of tax revenue have historically been property, […]


November 04 , 2022 - Emily Makings

City of Seattle’s November revenue forecast shows weakened real estate excise tax expectations; year-over-year regular general fund revenues are about flat

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts (OERF) presented its November revenue forecast on Wednesday. General fund revenues over the 2022 through 2024 period are now estimated to be down by a net of $9.4 million compared to the revenues anticipated in Mayor Harrell’s proposed 2023–24 budget. General fund revenues over that […]


October 25 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Some good news on long-term care program solvency

In 2020, after passage of Washington’s long-term care (LTC) program but before any premiums were assessed, Milliman prepared an actuarial study of the program for the state. It estimated that the statutory premium rate of 0.58% would “be insufficient to keep the program solvent for 75 years under the current law.” Given that and widespread […]


October 21 , 2022 - Emily Makings

How the paid family and medical leave and long-term care payroll taxes will impact employees next year

As I wrote yesterday, the paid family and medical leave (PFML) premium will increase from 0.6% to 0.8% next year (including a solvency surcharge). The PFML premium is paid on wages up to the Social Security cap, which is increasing 9.0% next year to $160,200. Additionally, the state’s long-term care (LTC) program is scheduled to […]