(1) Any county, city, or town not electing to make payments in lieu of contributions shall pay a "local government tax." Taxes paid under this section shall be paid into an administratively identifiable account in the unemployment compensation fund. This account shall be self-sustaining. For calendar years 1978 and 1979 all such employers shall pay local government tax at the rate of one and one-quarter percent of all remuneration paid by the governmental unit for services in its employment. For each year after 1979 each such employer's rate of tax shall be determined in accordance with this section: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That whenever it appears to the commissioner that the anticipated benefit payments from the account would jeopardize reasonable reserves in this identifiable account the commissioner may at the commencement of any calendar quarter, impose an emergency excess tax of not more than one percent of remuneration paid by the participating governmental units which "excess tax" shall be paid in addition to the applicable rate computed pursuant to this section until the calendar year following the next September 1st.
(2) A reserve account shall be established for each such employer.
(a) The "reserve account" of each such employer shall be credited with tax amounts paid and shall be charged with benefit amounts charged in accordance with the formula set forth in RCW 50.44.060
as now or hereafter amended except that such employer's account shall be charged for the full amount of extended benefits so attributable for weeks of unemployment commencing after January 1, 1979. Such credits and charges shall be cumulative from January 1, 1978.
(b) After the cut-off date, the "reserve ratio" of each such employer shall be computed by dividing its reserve account balance as of the computation date by the total remuneration paid during the preceding calendar year for services in its employment. This division shall be carried to four decimal places, with the remaining fraction, if any, disregarded.
(3) A "benefit cost ratio" for each such employer shall be computed by dividing its total benefit charges during the thirty-six months ending on June 30th by its total remuneration during the three preceding calendar years: PROVIDED, That after August 31st in 1979 each employer's total benefit charges for the twelve months ending on June 30th shall be divided by its total remuneration paid in the last three quarters of calendar year 1978; and after August 31st in 1980 each employer's total benefit charges for the twenty-four months ending June 30th shall be divided by its total remuneration paid in the last three calendar quarters of 1978 and the four calendar quarters of 1979. Such computations shall be carried to four decimal places, with the remaining fraction, if any, disregarded.
(4) For each such employer its benefit cost ratio shall be subtracted from its reserve ratio. One-third of the resulting amount shall be subtracted from its benefit cost ratio. The resulting figure, expressed as a percentage and rounded to the nearest tenth of one percent, shall become its local government tax rate for the following rate year. For the rate year 1980 no tax rate shall be less than 0.6 percent nor more than 2.2 percent. For 1981 no tax rate shall be less than 0.4 percent nor more than 2.6 percent. For years after 1981 no tax rate shall be less than 0.2 percent or more than 3.0 percent. No individual rate shall be increased any more than 1.0 percent from one rate year to the next.
(5) Any county, city, or town electing participation under this section at any time after December 15, 1977, shall be assigned a tax rate of one and one-quarter percent of total remuneration for the first eight quarters of the participation.
(6) "Local government tax" shall be deemed to be "contributions" to the extent that such usage is consistent with the purposes of this title. Such construction shall include but not be limited to those portions of this title and the rules enacted pursuant thereto dealing with assessments, interest, penalties, liens, collection procedures and remedies, administrative and judicial review, and the imposition of administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions.