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      Missouri tax breaks: Expansion? Or clarification?

      Missouri lawmakers approved special tax breaks this year that could benefit pizza parlors and power companies, clothes cleaners and computer data centers. And that's just the start of it.

      They passed bills containing about two dozen tax breaks tailored for particular industries, organizations and consumers during their annual session that ended this month. Added together, the measures could cost the state anywhere from $200 million to nearly a half-billion dollars.

      Gov. Jay Nixon contends the tax breaks could bust the state budget and has warned that he may respond with a bunch of spending cuts and vetoes.

      Yet some business groups say many of the measures are mere clarifications intended to correct the way existing tax policies have been interpreted by the courts or Nixon's administration.