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(Little Rock) (AP) – A House panel has approved exempting chicken-breeding houses and other farm structures from sales taxes on utilities, a cut that state finance officials say will cost about $10 million a year.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee advanced the legislation Thursday. It’s the first major tax cut approved by the panel this session.

The measure would exempt several types of agricultural structures from sales taxes on electricity, natural gas and other utilities. The proposal heads to the House for a vote as legislative leaders are negotiating a package of tax cuts.

State finance officials have warned that Gov. Mike Beebe’s proposed balanced budget does not include money for additional tax cuts.

The panel also approved legislation that would raise the tax on private timberland to help the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

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