Thursday, February 17, 2011

Unemployment Taxes Reduced for Most Employers

Great news! The state Legislature has passed Gov. Gregoire’s proposal to reduce unemployment tax rates for most employers in Washington beginning this year.

Our state has one of the healthiest unemployment funds in the country, yet the tax formulas in state law were triggering substantial tax increases for employers in 2011. The Governor asked the state Legislature to revise the tax formulas to reduce tax rates – and to vote on it early in the legislative session so the lower rates could take effect this year.

The legislation was the first bill to pass and be signed by the Governor this year. It succeeded due to considerable collaboration, spurred by a shared concern for how businesses and jobless workers have been affected by the recession. Not only was it adopted quickly, but it received almost unanimous votes in both the Senate and House.

As a result, tax rates for 2011 will be reduced for 90 percent of Washington employers, and about half of them will pay lower rates than in 2010. The reduction will save all employers $300 million in 2011, and an estimated $360 million from 2011 through 2017.

Employment Security will recalculate tax rates and send new tax-rate notices in March to replace the ones sent to employers in December 2010. Employers do not have to request an updated tax-rate notice; all employers will receive one in the mail.

The legislation also made some changes to the benefits side of the unemployment insurance system. It continues federally funded extended benefits through the end of 2011, makes the Training Benefits Program more accessible, and provides a temporary, $25 benefit increase for workers who file new unemployment claims during an eight-month window this year.

For more details about the tax reduction and benefit enhancements contained in the legislation, read Employment Security’s fact sheet.

By Paul Trause, Employment Security Commissioner

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cong. Smith to be Speaker


Military Affairs Committee Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

Date & Time: WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Place: La Quinta Inn, 1425 E. 27th St., Tacoma 98421
Price: $20.00 pre-paid by Feb. 18, noon
$25.00 pre-paid after noon Feb. 18
$30.00 walk-ins/at the door
Information: Monique Shields, (253) 627.2175
RSVP: DUE 12 noon, Feb. 18 (Friday)

Event Speaker: Congressman Adam Smith

Congressional Update from Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The Committee retains jurisdiction of all subjects listed in clause 1(c) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives and retains exclusive jurisdiction for: defense policy generally, ongoing military operations, the organization and reform of the Department of Defense and Department of Energy, counter-drug programs, acquisition and industrial base policy, technology transfer and export controls, joint interoperability, the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, Department of Energy nonproliferation programs and detainee affairs and policy.


March 9, 7:30 9:00 a.m., La Quinta, Register Here.

LTC John Redinger, Commander, 833d Transportation Battalion

The 833d Trans Bn. is part of the Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC) and provides surface deployment/redeployment, distribution and water terminal operations to directly support and sustain the Warfighter in the Pacific Northwest Area of Responsibility and on order deploys in support of SDDC missions worldwide.

Chamber on Facebook
You can now find an official Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Facebook page on the popular networking site used by over half a billion people.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Developers Recommend Affordable Housing Policies for Tacoma - Public Meeting

The BIA Blog is reporting on an opportunity to learn more about a series of policy recommendations from the City Council appointed, Affordable Housing Policy Advisory Group. The group of for-profit developers, non-profit developers, planners, and architects has developed recommend policies the City should consider pertaining the need for and availability of affordable housing, particularly in downtown Tacoma.

Click here for a link to the recommendations and more information about the February 11th public meeting.