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Workers comp assessments 5 times higher for N.Y. state employers: Analysis

Workers comp assessments 5 times higher for N.Y. state employers: Analysis

New York state employers pay nearly five times more in workers compensation insurance premium assessments than the average in other states, according to a Workers' Compensation Policy Institute report.

Most states impose similar surcharges on employers to fund their workers comp systems, according to the Latham, N.Y.-based research affiliate of the Public Employer Risk Management Assn.

But the average premium assessment among 32 states that impose the taxes is 4.2%. In contrast, New York state employers pay assessments totaling 20.2% of their premiums, according to the report, "Workers' Compensation Assessments: The Hidden Tax Confronting Employers and Taxpayers."

In Minnesota, the state with the next highest assessment, employers pay 8.9% of their premiums in surcharges, the WCPI found in the report released Wednesday.

In 2010 and 2011, New York has increased its assessments by 10.4% and 27%, respectively, WCPI said.

“This tax burdens all employers—and municipal employers feel this mandate especially acutely as they struggle to provide essential services and contain taxes,” Paul Jahn, WCPI's acting executive director, said in a statement.

Despite a series of workers comp reforms passed in 2007, “these efforts have failed to reduce assessments over the long term,” according to the report.