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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A key North Carolina Senate committee has declined to follow a recommendation from Gov. Beverly Perdue’s budget proposal that would have generated an extra $80 million next year in estate taxes.

The Senate Finance Committee agreed Wednesday with a recommendation by another legislative panel to conform North Carolina’s estate tax with changes to the federal law approved in December.

Perdue’s budget asked that the threshold above which estates would be taxed should be lowered from the federal level of $5 million to $1 million. Perdue’s office said only 1,200 estates annually in North Carolina exceed a $1 million value.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Rucho of Charlotte said lowering the threshold would have been a tax increase.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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