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State & Local Government Updates 2017_10

State & Local Government Updates 2017_10

Alaska Minimum Wage – Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase from $9.80 to $9.84 per hour, per the state’s labor department

Payroll Tax Withholding May Come to Alaska – Alaska Governor Bill Walker has proposed a 1.5% payroll tax for all Alaska residents and non-residents working in the state. The tax, also referred to as a head tax, will impose the 1.5% tax on employee wages on the higher of a $2,200 cap or twice the previous year’s Permanent Fund Dividend amount. The governor states that the legislation is being considered due to revenue that has been lost due to falling oil prices. The new tax would help to pay for public services, such as state troopers, transportation initiatives, and teacher salaries. Although the legislation has not been passed at this time, the tax deduction would begin with wages earned on or after January 1, 2019, if enacted. For more information, please visit here. Links to the currently unnumbered bill in the Alaska State House and Senate may be accessed through this site.

California Overtime – Effective January 1, 2018, California computer-software employees are exempt from state overtime requirements if they earn at least $43.58 per hour, $7,565.85 per month, or at least $90,790.07 per year. California licensed physicians and surgeons are exempt if they earn at least $79.39 per hour. This information is based upon two separate Department of Industrial Relations memoranda.

Delaware Unemployment Insurance – Effective January 1, 2018, the taxable wage base for unemployment taxes will be $16,500, per the Delaware Department of Labor. This reflects a $2,000 decrease in the wage base for 2017, which was $18,500.

Florida Minimum Wage – Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase from $8.10 to $8.25 per hour, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Illinois Income Tax Filing – Illinois has changed the requirements for W-2 submissions by employers. Employers must file state copies of Form W-2 with the Illinois Department of Revenue by January 31st each year.

Kentucky Unemployment Insurance – The Commonwealth of Kentucky uses five different schedules to determine the tax rates for Kentucky employers. For 2018 and beginning on January 1, 2018, the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training has advised that they will use Schedule B to determine the tax rates for employers. Schedule B uses tax rates between 0.40% and 9.25%, based upon the reserve ratio for the employer with the Commonwealth.

New Mexico Unemployment Insurance – Effective January 1, 2018, the taxable wage base for unemployment taxes will be $24,200, per the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. This reflects a decrease of $100 from the $24,300 taxable wage base for 2017.

Rhode Island Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law – Rhode Island became the most recent state to enact a paid sick leave act, joining Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. The new law will take effect on July 1, 2018. Governor Gina Raimondo signed the Healthy and Safe Families Workplaces Act, which requires up to 24 hours of paid sick leave accruals for 2018. The number of hours will increase to 32 for 2019 and cap out at a total of 40 hours per year beginning in 2020 and thereafter. Rhode Island employees will receive one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to the maximum number of hours allowed by state law. Employers are permitted to require a 90-day wait time before accruals may be used by employees. Employees are allowed to carry over unused paid sick leave hours, but can only use up to the maximum allowed for each year (24 hours in 2018, 32 in 2019, 40 in 2020 and later). Employers with an existing paid sick leave or PTO program that meets or exceeds the state requirements will not be required to provide additional paid sick leave, as long as the leave can be used for the same purposes as provided under the act. For more information, please visit here.

Utah Income Tax Withholding – Effective January 1, 2018, the Utah State Tax Commission will require employers of all sizes to file income tax withholding returns electronically via form TC-941E.

Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance – Effective January 1, 2018, new construction employers are to be assessed lower unemployment tax rates than they were assessed for 2017, per the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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