Missouri: Governor optimistic about 50% decrease in WC tax/surcharge
The administrative tax placed on workers' comp insurance premiums and the workers' comp surcharge placed on deductible plan policyholders will be reduced, according to Gov. Matt Blunt and the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations' Division of Workers' Compensation. The rates will go from 1 percent to 0.5 percent in 2009. The Second Injury Fund surcharge will remain at 3 percent for calendar year 2009, officials said.
"A reduction in the workers' compensation administrative tax and surcharge for the upcoming year is another sign that our reforms and pro-jobs, pro-growth initiatives are working for Missouri," Blunt said. "A rate reduction is a reduction in the tax burden for Missouri employers and job creators. This reduction makes workers' compensation plans more affordable for employers, while offering our workers greater protections."
Under Missouri law, a workers' comp tax/surcharge and a Second Injury Fund surcharge is assessed each fall for the following calendar year. Revenue derived from the workers' comp tax/surcharge is used to fund expenses associated with administering the workers' compensation program. The revenue generated by the Second Injury Fund surcharge is used to pay benefits to injured workers who had previous disabilities.
Rates will fall in coming year. In addition to the tax reduction, Blunt said workers' comp rates in the state are expected to decrease in the coming year. A September filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance anticipates a 7.7 percent average reduction in workers' comp insurance rates beginning in January. Blunt said the change will help attract and retain more jobs and provide more opportunities for Missouri workers.
"The impending workers' compensation rate reductions are an added testament to Gov. Blunt's responsible stewardship and a reflection of his efforts to make Missouri more competitive and a good place to do business," said Todd Smith, director of the Missouri DLIR.
Officials also said workers' comp reform measures enacted in 2005 have helped to decrease rates in the state. The reforms, Blunt said, restored fairness to Missouri's workers' comp system by "protecting rights of injured workers without threatening jobs."
November 17, 2008
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