More Trouble Ahead For NM Jobless Fund

New Mexico – Businesses in New Mexico will pay higher taxes starting in January to shore up the program that provides jobless benefits, but a top state official warns that another tax increase probably will be needed next year to keep the unemployment program solvent.

Workforce Solutions Secretary Ken Ortiz said Monday the agency expects the unemployment fund will run out of money in late 2011 if the economy remains weak and there's little change in the number of jobless New Mexicans.

Ortiz said it's uncertain the size of the tax increase the department will propose. The Legislature and the governor will make the final decision on taxes. Lawmakers convene in January for a 60-day session.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.