Minn. businesses to see drop in unemployment tax

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota businesses will see lower unemployment insurance taxes starting next year.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says Tuesday that the unemployment insurance trust fund’s $1.2 billion reserve at the end of September was enough to trigger a tax cut proposed by Gov. Mark Dayton and enacted by the Legislature this year.

The fund went into deficit during the recession, and the employment and economic development commissioner says its turnaround is a sign of an improving economy. The agency estimates businesses will save $346.5 million in 2014-15.

The trust fund provides benefits to laid-off workers. Minnesota businesses pay unemployment insurance taxes on the first $29,000 of annual wages per employee. Starting Jan. 1, the base tax rate on that amount will drop from 0.5 percent to 0.1 percent.

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