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Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:08 a.m.
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McDaniel asks to help defend drilling tax break

By The Associated Press

This article was published July 28, 2014 at 10:08 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wants to defend in court a $5 million tax break the Legislature gave the natural gas industry after the state's top finance official said the exemption was unconstitutional.

McDaniel on Friday filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit challenging the measure approved earlier this year exempting sand used in natural gas drilling from state sales taxes. The tax break was included in the Department of Finance and Administration's revenue services division budget, an approach the lawsuit argues is unconstitutional.

Department of Finance and Administration Director Richard Weiss, the defendant in the case, agreed in a Friday court filing that the approach was unconstitutional.

McDaniel asked to intervene so he could defend the tax break.

Lawmakers approved the break in March, overriding a veto by Gov. Mike Beebe.

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