COLUMBUS—On Monday, State Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) announced a one-time rebate of approximately $1 billion from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to Ohio’s private employers and public-taxing districts. This will be the third such rebate in the last four years.
“This announcement is great news for Ohio’s small business owners and another indicator of our state’s improving business climate,” said Peterson. “Small businesses are a major driver of our state’s economy, and this rebate will allow companies to reinvest in their workers, equipment and technology needs.”
Prudent fiscal management and a focus on worker safety and wellness has enabled BWC to continue to grow and see strong investment returns making this rebate possible, according to Peterson. Ohio has reduced rates for the state’s employers by nearly 30 percent since 2011. The bureau has also improved programs designed to reduce workplace injuries and has focused more on helping injured Ohioans receive the care they need to return to work.
“This rebate gives Ohio’s employers an opportunity to reinvest these savings into expansion and hiring, and that translates into jobs for Ohio families,” said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina). “I commend BWC for its sound management and investment decisions. Today presents another important step in our efforts to improve Ohio’s business climate.”
To become effective, the proposal will first go to the BWC board of directors for review, with an expected vote on April 28. If approved, BWC expects to begin sending checks in early July 2017. Most rebates are expected to equal 66 percent of an employer’s premium for the policy year ending June 30, 2016 (calendar year 2015 for public employers). Over $90 million of the total rebate will go to local governments.
Ohio’s workers’ compensation rates have gone from third highest in the nation in 2008 to 11th lowest, according to the Oregon Study, a nationally-recognized benchmark of rates.