The House voted 44-15 to let insurance companies take up to $50 million in credits against taxes they owe the state in the next three years if they invest that much in new high-tech firms.
HB 2646 would have the funding go to the state's quasi-public Commerce Authority which would identify companies headquartered in Arizona and provide some money for them to grow. That gets around constitutional prohibitions which bar the state from using its own funds to aid private companies.
House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, said the legislation would help fill a need of firms that need capital to grow.
As crafted, if the investments are successful the first $50 million would repay the state treasury for lost revenues. The carrot for the insurance companies is that they would share in any profits above that amount.
The measure now goes to the Senate. A vote on a separate and more expansive tax break for businesses which had been scheduled for Monday was postponed.