Higher taxes for businesses in January - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Higher taxes for businesses in January

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Businesses are going to pay higher taxes next year and the Regional Chamber of Commerce says that is a threat to staying afloat. Some of the taxes are higher Worker's compensation premiums.

Worker's compensation provides medical insurance for employees when they are injured on the job. Those premiums will increase by about 12% at the beginning of next year. The Tri-Cities Area Chamber of Commerce says the spike comes after voters said "no" to an initiative that would have allowed private insurance agencies into the mix. Now some businesses say they will pay the price.

Customers were enjoying lunch Friday at the Country Gentleman Restaurant, but some did not know that their exact meal may be more expensive come January.

Steve Simmons, the Owner of the Country Gentleman says the 12% increase will cost him about $200 more per month. He says they will likely reduce hours, and maybe cut jobs.

Lori Mattson, from the Tri-City Area Chamber of Commerce says, "when they stop spending, then all of the people that they're spending with, are hit as well so it's just this downward spiral." The downward spiral may impact people who have already been hit. The Chamber also says the spike will effect more that just the Country Gentleman.

Simmons says most of his clients are seniors who won't get a cost of living increase next year. "You need to be careful about how you impact those people you don't want those people you don't want to just automatically raise your prices and then become too expensive for them to come and see you," says Simmons.

The Tri-Cities economy may be up, but with the recent worker's compensation premium increase, some are worried business growth may take a hit.

Higher worker's compensation premiums aren't the only increase for businesses in January. Minimum wage and unemployment tax rates will also go up, giving companies even bigger bills.