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      Effort to protect local governments moving ahead

      Legislation making sure local governments' budgets are not harmed when manufacturers and small businesses get a tax cut is moving forward in Michigan.

      The state Senate on Tueday voted 36-2 to approve 10 bills incorporating a deal worked out among Governor Rick Snyder's administration, municipalities and the business community. The legislation now goes to the House.

      A planned phase-out of taxes on industrial machinery starts in 2016 and is already underway for small businesses with equipment. The tax cuts will be halted, though, if a statewide vote fails in August.

      The bill makes sure municipalities concerned about lost revenue are kept whole.

      One Democrat who voted against the package says it could run into a constitutional challenge from anti-tax activists and worries about potential cuts to state programs.

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