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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Montana Offering $125K Salary To Hire A Business Recruiter

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state is advertising for a business attractions manager, a job that will pay $125,000 a year to travel the country promoting Montana as good place to start or expand a business, in part by touting new tax incentives that were passed by the 2021 Legislature.

The Department of Commerce also has $500,000 to support the effort, the Montana State News Bureau reports.

Passing legislation to help recruit businesses to the state was part of Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte's “Montana Comeback Plan.”

Adam Schafer, deputy commerce director, said the recruiter would be targeting “companies that would create long-term, sustainable, good-paying jobs in Montana.”

The Legislature passed bills to raise the business equipment tax exemption from $100,000 to $300,000 and passed a capital gains tax break for business owners who sell after a certain percentage of their employees had been living in Montana for five years

Patrick Barkey, executive director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, said that while tax policies aimed at recruiting businesses may receive publicity, they may not actually bring in new companies. Most job growth, Barkey said, takes place at businesses already operating in the state.

“What they’re trying to do is recruit business, and hats off to them,” Barkey said. “But state government has very limited ability to grow the economy, especially in the short term."

The job posting for the business attractions manager says the state is looking for someone to establish and maintain relationships with prospective companies, site selection consultants, developers and entrepreneurs interested in Montana.

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