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First Financial Bankshares speeds dividend payment

ABILENE, Texas (AP) -- Bank operator First Financial Bankshares Inc. on Tuesday moved up its next dividend payment to Dec. 27 from Jan. 2, avoiding a possible tax increase on dividend income for its investors.

The company's quarterly dividend is currently 25 cents and will be paid to shareholders of record as of Dec. 14.

In recent weeks a spate of companies have moved up their fourth-quarter dividend payments or declared special dividends because starting in 2013, investors may have to pay higher taxes on income from dividends. Tax rates are scheduled to increase from a maximum 15 percent on dividend income to as much as 43.4 percent for the highest earners, unless rules change under a budget compromise between Congress and President Barack Obama.

First Financial Bankshares has 11 chartered banks with 54 locations in Texas. In afternoon trading, shares of the company fell 6 cents to $37.72.