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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri businesses will pay higher unemployment taxes next year in order to pay down a state debt to the federal government.

Missouri began borrowing from the federal government in 2008 to pay jobless benefits after an economic downturn drained the state's unemployment benefits trust fund. That debt has remained outstanding for several years.

Businesses are paying a surcharge of $42 per employee this year to help pay down that debt. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says businesses will have to pay $63 per employee in 2014.

The chamber says Missouri is one of 14 states being hit with a higher tax rate to help pay down its federal loan. The chamber says Missouri owes $308 million to the federal government.

 

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