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(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas Senate has approved a proposal to exempt the pay for active duty military from state income taxes, the first major tax reduction lawmakers are considering this legislative session.

The Senate on Thursday voted 34-0 to approve the tax cut proposal. Officials say it will cost Arkansas about $7.2 million annually and would benefit about 6,300 people in the state. The proposal by Republican Sen. Jim Hendren of Gravette is sponsored by 23 of the Senate’s 35 members.

The cut is among dozens proposed since Republicans won control of the House and Senate – in part on a vow to reduce taxes.

State finance officials have warned that there’s no money in Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s proposed budget for additional tax reductions without making cuts in the budget.

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