With the state budget concluded, there are still lingering funding questions concerning law enforcement training and the Governor has proposed a radical solution, taxing insurance premiums as a permanent funding source.
In a time where Insurance premiums are increasing by double digits – auto policy premiums are up by 17% and home policy premiums are up by 11%, this is a tenuous time to propose new taxes for unrelated services on insurance premiums.
We believe this is poor timing to add another cost to an already overburdened and uncertain time in the insurance industry. Carriers and agents alike are experiencing financial stress due to these market conditions and an additional tax would only increase that strain.
There is no denying that law enforcement training and the funding needed are important policy issues. With the Law Enforcement Training Funding Study Commission recommending that at least $40 million be allocated every fiscal year, we do have a long way to go to improving training and finding a permanent funding source.
However, OIA believes this funding shouldn’t come from taxing insurance premiums. Ohio should treat mandatory police training as it would any essential public safety cost — with tax dollars, not trying to craft a “fee” or insurance surcharge for it.
These are two separate policy issues and should be treated as such. Every dollar of insurance premiums should be applied to what they are collected for. We are experiencing record levels of insurable losses and we need to make sure premiums are collected to cover losses from weather-related events. It would set a dangerous precedent to apply insurance premium taxes to specific unrelated programs, it’s a slippery slope to this being done to other industries for different funding purposes.
We at OIA stand in firm opposition to this proposed tax and our advocacy team will continue to work with our elected officials to protect your business and the industry at large. There are not a lot of details on the proposal at this time, as we learn more we will communicate those to the membership.
If you have any questions about the state budget or how it could affect your agency and your clients please contact John Wells at email@example.com with questions.