Panel OKs changes in SC unemployment tax rates

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina businesses using the state's unemployment system more than others would get a slight break on taxes as legislators scramble to soften the blow of jobless benefits system overhaul.

A Senate subcommittee approved changes Thursday that reduce rate increases for businesses with more frequent layoff records.

State Sen. Kevin Bryant of Anderson says the changes would cut in half the increases for businesses in the highest rating category, requiring them to pay an extra $330 per worker.

Bryant says taxes for the 12 categories with the best records will not change.

Lowering the tax increases means it will take until 2016 to pay off $933 million in federal loans that have covered jobless benefits. That would also delay rebuilding the state's reserves.

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