TDLWD Says TN Employers Saving Money In 2018; Taxable Wage Base Restored To Pre-Great Recession Level

Thursday, January 4, 2018

On Jan. 1, Tennessee employers began paying less in unemployment insurance premiums when the taxable wage base decreased from $8,000 to $7,000.

The taxable wage base is the annual amount of wages paid to an employee, which is subject to state unemployment tax.

“This will amount to a tremendous savings for each and every Tennessee employer,” said Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) Commissioner Burns Phillips.  “They pay taxes into the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund and this will greatly reduce that tax bill.”

Officials said, "During the Great Recession in 2008, Tennessee’s unemployment insurance trust fund became insolvent due to a tremendous increase in unemployment claims.  In an effort to ensure adequate funding to pay unemployment benefits, state lawmakers passed legislation that increased Tennessee’s taxable wage base from $7,000 to $9,000.  The legislation also included provisions to reduce the taxable wage base when the trust fund was restored to an adequate funding level.

"After six years at an elevated rate, in 2016 TDLWD reduced the taxable wage base from $9,000 to $8,000.  That reduction resulted in a savings for employers, while continuing to grow the trust fund balance. 

"On June 30, the unemployment insurance trust fund balance continued to remain above $1 billion, which triggered the lowering of the taxable wage base to $7,000.00, effective Jan. 1, 2018."

“Having the trust fund balance over $1 billion dollars is a milestone for Tennessee,” Comm. Phillips said.  “We weathered the recession better than many other states and now our trust fund has fully recovered from the hit it took during those difficult years.”

The Taxable Wage Base applies to all employers who pay quarterly state unemployment insurance premiums.  Tennessee uses money from the trust fund to pay qualified claimants up to 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.

Law Firm Celebrates Dalton NVR TXT & DRV Day With Public Event

Law firm Warren & Griffin commemorated Dalton Mayor Dennis Mock’s designation of Oct. 19 as NVR TXT & DRV Day with a celebration Friday at their north Georgia office. Phone use while driving has been cause for major legislative intervention, resulting in the most recent announcement of Georgia’s “Hands Free Law,” which took effect in July.  Law enforcement offers ... (click for more)

Reliance Partners Named To Freight Tech 100 List

Reliance Partners has been named to the Freight.Tech 100 list by Freight Waves.  Freight.Tech 100 was created to recognize the most innovative and disciplined companies in freight. Companies on the list span all lines of transportation and prioritize innovation.  Out of more than five hundred applicants, Reliance earned a spot on this list among others like Amazon and ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens as one of the suspects in a series of violent home invasions. Pipkens, 27, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, unlawfully carrying a weapon, use of a weapon during the commission of a felony, and criminal impersonation. Police ... (click for more)

County Schools To Push Forward With Equity Effort; Magnet Schools To Get More Diversity With Lottery Change

The county schools will push forward with an equity effort that appeared to have been paused after board members Rhonda Thurman and Joe Smith in May said  they rejected the idea that county schools need to “racially and economically integrate.” An equity task force did not meet for several months and the schools did not move forward on hiring an outside consultant to help ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Lee In A Landslide

The first time I met Bill Lee, the guy who is triggering a huge turnout of Tennessee voters across the state, I instantly liked him, admired him, and must have told a dozen friends that day we have the most exciting guy going to the Governor’s Mansion we’ve ever had. The best reason is because Bill Lee is real. His opponent, Karl Dean, is a Democrat and a longtime politician. Go ... (click for more)