As recovery continues to occur across the nation for unemployment, we have seen most rate schedules for 2015 either remain the same or slightly decrease as the taxable wage base across the nation for 2015 has increased.   Why would the state decrease the rate schedule while increasing the taxable wage base?   In order to plan for any future downturns in the economy, the state’s are being required to maintain higher trust fund ratios.

With the current trust fund balances at solvent levels in all but nine states, most agencies are now preparing for the 2019 requirement made by the Department of Labor.   An Average High Cost Multiple (AHCM) of 1.0 is a required level of measurement for all trust fund balances by 2019.   The AHCM of 1.0 was derived from a study performed by the US Department of Labor. A twenty year average determined that the AHCM of 1.0 allowed most states to greatly reduce their Title XII loans or possibly never need to borrow under the provision through three major recessions. Listed below are a few of the changes being made in preparation for the 2019 requirement. Rhode Island and South Carolina are the first states to announce their plans to meet the AHCM of 1.0 by 2019.

Alaskan’s should see a slight decrease for 2015 as the trust fund balance becomes strong.   The taxable wage base for 2015 will be released in late December.

Unemployment rates for Colorado will decrease for 2015 with rates ranging from 0.78% – 10.20%. The taxable wage base increased from $11,700 to $11,800 for 2015.

Electronic reporting will begin to be available through the employer portal for Delaware employers.  Reporting by paper or CD Rom is still available until the agency has the electronic reporting established.

District of Columbia has two changes effective with the filing of the fourth quarter 2014 unemployment tax return.   They are requiring employers to report the number of hours worked by each employee. Also, all employers with more than five employees will be required to file electronically.

Maryland will be increasing their 2015 by applying rates to Table B. The rates will range from 0.6%-9.0% for 2015. For 2014 the rates ranged from 0.3%-7.5%. The new employer construction rate will increase to 9.0% up from 7.5%. All other new employers will have a rate of 2.6%.   The taxable wage base will remain at $8,500.

Michigan will require all employers to file electronically.   If Form 1028 (the quarterly contribution return ) is received, it will be discarded. Penalties will accrue within fifteen days of the due date.   All employers will need an account through MiWAM.   The support telephone number is 313 456 2188 or MiWAMsupport@micigan.gov. Prior to 2015, only the larger employers were required to set up a MiWAM account.

The Rate Table for Missouri and the taxable wage base remained unchanged from 2014 to 2015. The maximum rates may have increased for some employers for 2015.   Employers that have a maximum rate for two consecutive years are assessed a Maximum Rate Surcharge which varies depending on the number of years your company has been at the maximum rate. The voluntary contribution, if profitable, should be received by January 15, 2015.

New Hampshire employers will see a 0.5% reduction in their fourth quarter, 2014 tax rate due to the level of the trust fund balance.   The taxable wage base will continue to remain at $14,000 for 2015.

Some of the brackets within the Ohio rate table increased by 0.1%. The rates will range from 0.3% to 8.6%.   The taxable wage base continues to be $9000.   The voluntary contribution, if profitable, must be submitted by December 31, 2914.

Oregon employers will see a decrease in their 2015 unemployment tax rates. Schedule 5 will be in place for 2015 as opposed to Schedule 6. Rates will range from 1.5% place. The taxable wage base fro 2015 will increase to $35,700 up from $35,000 for 2014.

The Rhode Island unemployment base rates for 2015 will remain the same as they were in 2014. The Job Fund Development will decrease from 0.51% to 0.21%.   The 0.3% has been removed due to the repayment of the Title XII loan.   Rhode Island expects to be on target for the ACHM of 1.0% as of the 2019 deadline. The Temporary disability will remain at 1.2% with the taxable wage base slightly higher at $64,200. The unemployment taxable wage base will increase from $20,600 to $21,200 for all positive balanced employers. For employers with a rate of 9.79%, the taxable wage base will increase from $22,100 to $22,700.

South Carolina will see a slight decrease in the 2015 unemployment rates. Rates will range from 0.06% – 6.03% down from 0.89% – 7.805%.   The 2015 rate includes a 0.06% contingency surcharge and a federal repayment surcharge that ranges from 0.179%-2.684%. The taxable wage base will increase to $14,000 up from $12,000 for 2014.   South Carolina has proposed an additional Solvency surcharge for 2016. The purpose of the additional surcharge for 2016 and the increased taxable wage base for 2015 is to rebuild their trust fund balance and comply with the 1.0 ACHM required by the federal government as of 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact our Tax Director at ngreen@corporatecostcontrol.com or (800) 207 – 6926, Ext 418.


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