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Economy and Business

Ohio whittles away at unemployment debt while employers pay more
Dave Hall has introduced a bill to apply projected Medicaid savings to the unemployment debt.

Karen Kasler
Hall wants to apply Medicaid savings so employers aren't hit with big unemployment insurance increases.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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Ohio employers are paying more this year in federal unemployment taxes because the state still hasn’t paid back the money it borrowed to pay jobless benefits during the recession.

For the third time, the federal government has cut back the credit it gives Ohio employers for paying the unemployment tax because the state still has owes the feds more than $1.5 billion. Ben Johnson at the state Department of Job and Family Services says the state is concerned because employers are paying more in taxes.

LISTEN: Johnson on unemployment debt

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“We of course need to make fund that there is money in the trust fund to continue to pay unemployment compensation claims as they come in So it’s a process of actively managing the debt and taking whatever steps we can take each year to pay off as much principal as possible.”

The cost for the cut in the tax credit comes out to $63 a year per employee, and Johnson says the credit will keep being cut until the debt is paid.

LISTEN: Johnson on impact on employers
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Ohio was one of 15 states that borrowed money to pay jobless benefits when its unemployment funds ran out during the recession.

Ohio State Rep. David Hall has introduced a bill to apply a projected $400 million in Medicaid savings to the principal, but other Republicans have talked about tax cuts, and Democrats are pushing more money for schools and local governments. 

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