NM governor signs unemployment fund tax bill

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By Susan M. Bryan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation that lowers the rate New Mexico businesses pay into the state's unemployment compensation fund, saving employers more than $81 million in taxes this year.

The governor described the measure as temporary tax relief that will be imperative as businesses recover from the economic hard times that have swept across the nation.

Martinez signed the legislation Monday before a crowd of business leaders in Albuquerque.

The measure short circuits a looming increase that employers were bracing to pay as part of an effort to shore up the fund. In 2013, the premiums will start to increase gradually.

State labor officials say even with employers paying lower premiums this year, the fund's balance is expected to be close to $60 million at the end of 2012.