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Legislature passes tax incentives for small businesses

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri Legislature has passed a bill reviving a tax break for small businesses that add employees.

The bill given final approval Wednesday by the House allows businesses with fewer than 50 employees to claim a $10,000 tax deduction for each job they create that pays at least their county’s average wage. Those businesses could claim a $20,000 deduction if they also cover at least half the cost of their employees’ health insurance premiums.

The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

A similar tax break was in effect from 2009 through 2014. The new version would run from 2016 through 2020.

The bill also allows businesses with government contracts, grants or tax credits to seek exemptions from using a federal database to verify workers are legally in the U.S.