Essentially no opposition to proposed unemployment insurance rates for 2015 |

Essentially no opposition to proposed unemployment insurance rates for 2015

There was essentially no opposition at a Tuesday workshop on the proposed unemployment insurance rates for 2015.

The Employment Security Council earlier this month recommended a rate schedule that would have most businesses pay the same in 2015 as they did this year while allowing a bit more cash to rebuild the Trust Fund which pays benefits.

The only public comment came from Carole Vilardo of the Nevada Taxpayers Association who told the council there had really been no objections to the plan from her members.

The Trust Fund was nearly $800 million when the recession began in 2007 but the state not only used up that much, it had to borrow another $800 million from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits.

The Employment Security Division sold bonds to pay that debt rather than pay the federal government interest for years.

Economist David Schmidt said the assessment to pay off the bonds actually does come down a bit in 2015.

So the council recommended increasing the premium rate from 1.95 percent to 2 percent, about the same amount as that decrease.

Not only will the state be able to pay off those bonds by the end of 2017, it will funnel more money into the Trust Fund, which Schmidt said needs to be restored to about $1.1 billion by the time the next economic downturn hits — which happens on average every five or six years in Nevada.

Schmidt said the Trust Fund should be at about $395 million by the end of 2015.

If Employment Security Administrator Renee Olson adopts the recommendations at the Dec. 3 meeting, that will set the total insurance premium rate at 2.56 percent of employee pay, down a tiny bit from the current rate of 2.58 percent.

Since the premium is applied on only the first $27,800 of each worker’s pay, that works out to a maximum of $711 per employee.