Unemployment tax on businesses to triple

AUSTIN, TX The minimum tax is going up from $23.40 per worker to $64.80 under rates announced Tuesday. The commission says the minimum rate is paid by nearly 255,000 employers, or 67 percent of those in business at least a year.

The taxes feed the state's unemployment trust fund, which has been depleted by a high number of jobless claims. The state already has borrowed about $1 billion interest-free from the federal government to help keep the fund afloat.

Just counting state-paid unemployment benefits -- not federally funded extensions -- Texas is paying $68.6 million a week in unemployment benefits compared with $33.6 million a year ago.

About 700,000 Texans currently are receiving unemployment benefits, including those funded by the state and federal government.

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