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No hike on unemployment taxes in South Carolina next year

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Businesses in South Carolina won’t see a hike in their unemployment insurance taxes next year, state officials announced Thursday.
Those employer tax rates will either drop or stay the same in 2022, workforce officials said at a news conference.
South Carolina used hundreds of millions of federal coronavirus aid dollars to replenish its unemployment trust fund after the pandemic recession put a strain on the program. The fund has a current balance of about $1.19 billion.
The state didn’t take out any loans to keep the fund afloat, a move that will save businesses money as South Carolina won’t have to repay federal loans and interest, said Gov. Henry McMaster.
South Carolina did borrow nearly $1 billion from the federal government during the Great Recession to keep providing unemployment benefits. Lawmakers later passed new regulations requiring the Department of Employment and Workforce to rebuild the fund to be able to withstand a future recession without having to take out federal loans.
The state has paid out more than $6.5 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic, according to the workforce agency.

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