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Legislative panel OKs sand-tax exemption

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 5, 2014 at 11:53 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas legislative panel has endorsed a measure exempting sales-tax collection on the sand used in the drilling of oil and natural gas.

The Joint Budget Committee approved the amendment Wednesday to the state Department of Finance and Administration's Revenue Services Division budget bill. The proposal failed Tuesday, but state Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, asked for the vote to be erased, citing the absence of several committee members.

A Pulaski County circuit judge has ruled that sand qualifies as equipment, meaning taxes can't be collected on it. Lawmakers say they're clarifying the law to follow the judge's decision. Department of Finance and Administration officials oppose it, saying the amendment is inappropriate in a fiscal session. They plan to appeal the judge's ruling.

The bill now heads to the full Senate.

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