Higher jobless benefit tax irks SC businesses

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Some South Carolina businesses are complaining to legislators about higher taxes to cover unemployment benefits as the state tries to repay a $933 million loan that's kept unemployment checks in the mail.

John Byrnes is president of the South Carolina Association of Personnel and Staffing, and said Thursday taxes of nearly $1,130 a year for each worker are causing businesses to consider moving out of state.

For years, the South Carolina Legislature has been quick to embrace breaks to pamper businesses, but it's far from certain lawmakers are in a mood to back down from last year's rare business tax increase. Legislators say that's partly because some of the businesses complaining most about the higher taxes have the worst records for sending workers to unemployment lines.

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