JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House gives first-round approval to legislation eliminating a tax for the state's smaller corporations.
The House voted 143-17 Wednesday to exempt more companies from paying business franchise taxes by excusing those worth $10 million or less.
The business franchise tax is a levy on corporations' assets, inventory and property. Over the last 90 years, the Legislature has lowered the franchise tax rate and exempted smaller businesses.
House member Mike Sutherland, R-Warrenton, who has sponsored similar proposals in the past, says the levy is a "double tax" because companies also pay taxes on their earnings. Sutherland says limiting the tax would spur economic development.
Critics contend it's a giveaway to businesses.