Delay announcement doesn't stop deductions ---Getty Images
Delay announcement doesn't stop deductions ---Getty Images

Hold the phone.

Despite Gov. Inslee's (and others) announcements that the state's proposed long-term care tax plan is so flawed it has to be delayed,  word now comes that nothing has been done to actually STOP the money from being taken.

ACCORDING TO GOP LEADERS LEGISLATURE MUST TAKE ACTION reported Wednesday (Dec. 22nd) that unless the legislature steps in and makes changes to the plan, workers could still see deductions for the tax come out in January.

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Senate Republican Leaders John Braun and J.T. Wilcox said in a release on Wednesday:

“The governor’s announcement last week that the ‘Washington Cares’ long-term care tax would be delayed led everyone to believe that the tax would not be collected from their paychecks come January. State employees received notice that only those who have already been granted an exemption to the program will not have the tax deducted. Otherwise, the tax will be collected as originally planned. How is this a delay? How has the governor helped matters? He hasn’t. The governor’s announcement changed nothing. The only thing it did was publicly acknowledge that the program is a mess."

The GOP Leaders said the only remedy is for the legislature to stage a special session, even during the holidays, and make the necessary changes to avoid any workers from having this tax removed. Braun and Wilcox said even if it's done virtually, it has to happen.

Braun and Wilcox added:

"The program is so unpopular that more than 400,000 Washingtonians applied for an exemption and thousands of others want out but couldn’t get a private policy before the deadline. Why? Because the way the law is written drove insurance carriers to pull out of Washington."

Inslee's office says he does not have the power to make the changes to the plan, instead, he has reportedly instructed the Employment Security Department to "not accept quarterly payments from all employers to give the legislature time to work on modifications to the program."

GOP legislators are hoping to be able to repeal the WA Cares Fund entirely in the upcoming legislative session.


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