PULLMAN – Seattle business executives are uncertain about how they will handle recently approved health care reform legislation and doubt the effectiveness of the new Federal Jobs Bill, according to the latest in a series of surveys conducted by the Washington State University School of Economic Sciences IMPACT Center and the Seattle Business Executives Association.
 
While remaining relatively optimistic about their economic future, about a third of those surveyed said they do not know how they could minimize costs under the new health care legislation.
 
Another 30 percent said they think that eliminating health care coverage for employees completely would reduce their costs, but only a small number of those said they think that eliminating health care coverage for employees would be in their business’s best interest.
 
“Overall business conditions improved after the slight decline last quarter. However, the uncertainty over economic conditions that has existed for over a year appears to be augmented by questions about recent federal action,” said Justin Taylor, WSU economic impact analyst.
 
Those surveyed also expressed doubt about the effectiveness of the new Federal Jobs Bill, which provides a $1,000 tax credit and an exemption on Social Security taxes for business that hire a previously unemployed worker. Only 5 percent said the incentives might influence their hiring practices.
 
On another topic, approximately half the business executives surveyed said an increase in Washington’s sales tax would cause the least harm to the state’s economy; 28 percent felt a property tax increase would be the least intrusive.