HELENA, Mont. -

The Senate is backing Republican proposals to reduce taxes on business equipment and energy production.
   
The 3 percent equipment tax would be cut in half on the first $10 million of property under Senate Bill 96. It was endorsed 34-16 on Friday.
   
Supporters say it will help spur economic development by making Montana competitive with other states on tax structure. Opponents argue such tax cuts eventually shift the lost revenue to residential homeowners.
   
That proposal will compete with a different plan from Gov. Steve Bullock that eradicates the tax for businesses with less than $100,000 in equipment.
   
The Senate also backed a plan to extend the so-called clean-and-green tax credit to all new power plants. Senate Bill 138 cleared on a partisan 29-21 vote.