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Senate Democrats pitch tax plan


HELENA - Democratic efforts to tax ''big box'' stores and soft drinks, both tagged as alternatives to taking money out of the coal tax trust fund, stumbled Wednesday on close votes on the Senate floor.

Opponents argued both bills tried to solve the state's $232 million budget deficit by targeting just a small number of retailers or a small number of consumers.

One plan, Senate Bill 332,

proposes a gross-receipts tax aimed at large discount warehouse stores. Retail sales of more than $20 million would be taxed at 1 percent, more than $30 million at 1.5 percent and more than $40 million at 2...

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