NM Proposes Higher Unemployment Tax

New Mexico – Businesses could pay $20 million in higher taxes under a proposal by Gov. Bill Richardson's administration to shore up the program that provides unemployment benefits to jobless New Mexicans.

The unemployment insurance trust fund will run out of money by next year if the Legislature and governor don't agree on a rescue plan during the legislative session.

The fund is being drained because of rising unemployment.

The Workforce Solutions Department is briefing legislators on a proposal to keep the unemployment program solvent.

The agency recommends that employers pay higher contributions averaging 22 percent. That will provide $20 million. The agency also proposes to transfer $100 million from a reserve account to help replenish the unemployment program.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.