Radio Report: Long-term care payroll tax begins this Saturday, July 1, despite Republican objections

Beginning Saturday (July 1), a new payroll tax kicks in for most Washington workers to fund the state’s new long-term care insurance program. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: It’s too late now to opt out of the WA Cares program. And if you haven’t, you’ll be paying 58 cents for every one-hundred-dollars you earn from your paycheck for a lifetime maximum long-term care benefit of 36-thousand-500 dollars.

Republican State Representative Peter Abbarno of Centralia says it’s an “unpopular, inadequate and regressive” program, and just a bad deal for Washington workers.

ABBARNO: “This is a short-term, not a long-term, and an inadequate benefit that many, including my kids, who are 11 and 12, will be paying into probably more than they’ll ever get out of.”

SATTGAST: For the past two years, Abbarno offered legislation supported by Republicans to repeal the program and the tax, but majority Democrats wouldn’t allow a hearing on the bill. That means starting Saturday, someone earning $75-thousand dollars annually in Washington will be giving up 435-dollars of their paycheck to the state.

ABBARNO: “And that’s money that so many people are going to invest in this program and never receive the benefit from.”

SATTGAST: John Sattgast, the state Capitol.


Washington State House Republican Communications
Broadcast Coordinator: 360.786.7257