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ranges are from positive 7.3% to negative 15.1%, with increments of 1.4 between each of the reserve ratios.  If an employer’s reserve ratio is a positive 7.3 or better, he gets the lowest rate of one quarter of one percent.  So in our previous example, where the employer had a reserve ratio of 10%, he would get the lowest rate.  An employer with a reserve ratio of less than negative 15.1 would get the highest rate of 5.4%.  The rest will fall somewhere in between.  In this particular chart, approximately 42% of eligible employers are in the lowest rate of one quarter of one percent.  There are 30,153 eligible employers, which we estimate will generate $273.27 million in revenue to the unemployment insurance trust fund.  To that, we add the estimate for the employers that are not eligible for an experience rating of 94.4 million, for a total revenue of $367.67 million, and an average rate of 1.38% for the unemployment tax.  As a note, you will notice that there is an additional .05% tax for the career enhancement program, which is a separate state training tax set by statute.  This is being provided for your informational purposes only and is not included in the projected revenue amounts.

Chair:Any questions for Joan?  Thank you very much, Joan.  We appreciate it.  Joan Richards, Management Analyst.  We will now invite Council discussion.  I’d like to call upon Cynthia Jones to commence, trigger discussion.

Jones:Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  As you head from Jered McDonald, the Research and Analysis Bureau is suggesting we keep the tax rate the same, stay the course.  You may recall two years ago when we raised the average tax rate, we did so with the intention of having a rate that would be stable for hopefully the next ten years.  While this particular year, our trust fund solvency ended up higher than we projected, there will be years during that period of time where the trust fund solvency will not perform up to the levels that we would expect.  The average tax rate was set for what we expect the average performance to be over a ten-year period.  This year just happened to be above average.  But that’s the recommendation that they have made for the Council to consider.

Chair:Thank you, Cynthia.  Appreciate it.

Foster:Mr. Chair?

Chair:Yes, George.  Please.

Foster:Mr. Chairman, I think the 1.38 tax rate has been working well and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t continue having that rate.

Chair:Would you like to make that in form of a motion, George?

Foster:Yeah, I move that we recommend the 1.38 tax rate for 2007.

11:22:38I’ll second that, Mr. Chairman.

Chair:It’s been moved and seconded that we adopt a tax rate of 1.38.  I would like to invite discussion and certainly from the public at this time.

Jones:Mr. Simonton, is there anybody in Southern Nevada who would like to make comment?

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