The Senate has approved a proposal to lower New Mexico's corporate income tax rate but change the tax treatment of large corporations with income from operations nationwide.

The measure passed the Senate on a 28-13 vote on Monday and was sent to the House.

Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, says the legislation will help stop "big box retailers" from avoiding taxes by shifting part of their income to out-of-state subsidiaries. The proposal will require certain corporations to combine the income from their nationwide operations in determining how much is subject to taxation in New Mexico.

Opponents say the change will increase taxes on large chain retailers and could cause them to reduce their New Mexico operations.

The bill lowers the corporate tax rate to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent.