During the Washington legislative session, the farm community will watch a variety of issues very closely. But for state Senator Mark Schoesler, one of the top issues is Unemployment Insurance taxes, with some farmers already reporting an increase of 500% or greater on their April bill. In response, Schoesler proposed Senate Bill 5197, which he said would freeze the basis used to calculate wages.
“Many people under $20 an hour or unemployed, that data did not enter the system, but extremely well paid tech sector people did. And raising the basis raises the costs to all employers, simply something that most employers during this pandemic simply cannot absorb.”
Schoesler says his bill is different than the legislation requested by Governor Jay Inslee, Senate Bill 5061, which he said would reduce the financial pain for employers facing bigger UI taxes by spreading the increase out over a longer period.
“It’s better than nothing for those that are desperate but it really isn’t a fix because all it does is put the pain on an installment plan. That doesn’t cure it.”
Schoesler said he’s hopeful his proposal will get a hearing soon, adding his legislation is a true cost savings measure.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]