Insurance companies would pay 15 percent less in taxes to the state under terms of legislation approved Thursday by the House.

HB 2276 cuts the “premium tax” now levied on companies from 2 percent to 1.7 percent. Proponents said that simply matches similar income tax breaks given in prior years to other types of corporations; insurance companies do not pay corporate income taxes.

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said he understands the desire for parity. But he questioned whether the state can afford losing $16.6 million a year.

“We are throwing away money left and right we need in the state,” he said. The measure now goes to the Senate.

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