An organization representing small business has concerns about how its members might be hurt by the financial woes being experienced by Missouri’s Second Injury Fund. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) believes small businesses contribute disproportionately to the Second Injury Fund, which exists to encourage employers to hire workers with pre-existing disabilities or injuries.
NFIB Missouri Director Brad Jones points out any small company with five employees or more must pay for Workers’ Compensation insurance, and must pay three percent of what is placed into Workers’ Comp into the Second Injury Fund.
"Most small businesses have never had a Workers’ Comp claim, let alone a Second Injury Fund claim," said Jones in an interview with the Missourinet. "However, they’re still paying three percent of their premium for the Second Injury Fund."
Jones worries about businesses being stuck with higher premiums to deal with the possible insolvency.
"What has been bantied about is going from three to four percent on a temporary basis," said Jones. "I would suggest that we also have the franchise tax, which was supposed to be a temporary tax, which was implemented in 1919. Not that I’m older and cynical but I’ve seen how long temporary things last in Jefferson City and they can be a long, long time."
Jones wonders whether the effort to save the Second Injury Fund is worth it to small businesses.
"Do we really need to save the fund?" asks Jones. "The question is ‘Do the small business people out there really care if we’ve got the Second Injury Fund or not?’ You know, there’s been over a dozen states that have gotten rid of their Second Injury Fund."
Jones believes that if the Second Injury Fund were to go away the economy of the state would not be harmed in any way.