State officials say unemployment tax rates next year will remain the same, or decline for three-fourths of Washington employers. According to the state's Employment Security Department only 25 percent of employers will experience rate hikes next year. Unemployment taxes are mostly based on each employer's layoff history. The more benefits paid out to former employees, the higher the tax rate. More than one-third of Washington's employers will pay the lowest tax rate next year because they had no layoffs in the past four years.