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Brewer signs bill for 2-year tax increase on employers

Arizona employers face a temporary tax increase to help the state repay loans provided by the federal government to pay for unemployment benefits.

A bill signed Monday by Gov. Jan Brewer authorizes the Department of Economic Security to levy a so-called “special assessment” this year and next.

The assessment is expected to amount to $28 per employee this year and $42 next year. That’s in addition to the current tax of $56 annually per employee.

The bill approved by the Legislature had wide backing among business groups, with supporters saying the tax increase would help the state avoid having federal officials impose a larger tax hike.

Arizona is one of many states that borrowed money from the federal government because state unemployment trust funds were emptied by the recession.

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