- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has preliminarily approved authorizing cuts to, and the eventual phasing out of, taxes levied on businesses in the future, when the state potentially has shaken off the current oil price slump marring its economy.

Angleton Republican Rep. Dennis Bonnen’s bill passed 98-45 late Thursday. A final vote will send it to the state Senate.

The bill doesn’t cut taxes in the 2017-2018 budget, which lawmakers are devising and which has been hit by low oil prices. But it could affect future years.

The Senate already approved a plan gradually eliminating the “franchise tax” on businesses. That plan mandates future cuts when Texas’ economy grows.

Democrats oppose cuts since business taxes help fund public schools. But conservatives want the tax fully eliminated, saying it’s too costly for businesses.

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