State’s Debt Over Jobless Benefits is Costing Ohio Employers More

Starting at the first of the year, the federal government cut the credit it gives Ohio employers for paying federal unemployment taxes. Ben Johnson at the state Department of Job and Family Services says that means employers are paying more in federal taxes.

"The effect that the three-tenths of a percent equates to about $21 per employee," Johnson said. "And so the tax rate for 2013, which is payable in 2014, is about an additional $63 per employee."

Ohio was one of 15 states that had to borrow money to pay jobless benefits during the recession.

Johnson says the tax credit will continue to be cut until Ohio has paid off the $2.6 billion it borrowed when its unemployment trust fund went broke in 2009. That amount is down to just over $1.5 billion now, and a bill has been proposed to use $400 million in savings from Medicaid expansion to pay off more of that debt.

(Story by Karen Kasler at the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau)

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