Montana Public Radio

Montana Budget and Policy Center

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s governor is calling this "Tax Reform Week." Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposals to change a slew of tax policies for residents and businesses got their first hearing in the state Legislature. An income tax cut proposal received the most debate Thursday morning. 

Rep. Paul Fielder (R) - HD13
Montana Legislature

Montana lawmakers will take another crack at changing how the state collects taxes on Social Security income. A similar proposal was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

Downtown Whitefish, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers will once again consider a bill that would allow for a local option sales tax. It’s a policy that’s been seen and rejected in past years at the state Legislature, amid a long-running debate over how to make the most of tourism dollars and tax locals fairly.

Structural Balance: HJ 2 revenues are expected to dip below the Governor's proposed ongoing expenditures beginning in FY 2021.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

The first state budget offered by Gov. Greg Gianforte includes tax cuts and a marginal increase in general fund spending.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated poverty and economic inequality in Montana. Several Bozeman residents recently shared their struggles in trying to meet basic needs and navigate complicated safety nets.

During a virtual event hosted by Montana No Kid Hungry and the Human Resource Development Council, panelist Lori Lindgren says living in poverty feels like trying to catch a run away train.

“When you’re poor, you’re always behind and you’re trying to catch up,” Lindgren said.

Gov. Steve Bullock is joined by Rep. Mary Caferro, a Democrat from Helena, and Rep. Ed Buttrey, a Republican from Great Falls, and other lawmakers for the signing of HB 658, May 9, 2019. The bill reauthorizes the state's Medicaid expansion program.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

New work and public service requirements for certain Medicaid expansion enrollees were signed into state law Thursday.

Gov. Steve Bullock signed a bill to continue and change the health coverage program for low income adults, during a crowded ceremony in the east wing the state Capitol.

Bill Would Offer Tax Breaks To Fiber Optic Providers

Feb 19, 2019
Montana Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

HELENA — The Federal Communications Commission standard for broadband download speed is 25 megabits per second. According to a report published by the FCC in 2017, about half of Montanans have access to the minimum speeds.

Bill Would Offer Paid Leave To Montana Employees

Feb 11, 2019
Rep. Moffie Funk (D) - HD82
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Montana employees, including those who are self-employed, could receive paid medical or family leave through a statewide fund if a new bill introduced to the Legislature becomes law.

House Bill 300, introduced in the 2019 Montana Legislative session, called for a 2.5 percent sales tax and the elimination of certain property taxes.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A 2.5 percent sales tax and the elimination of certain property taxes is under consideration by the Montana Legislature.

It’s a proposal that could swing the source of billions of dollars in state revenue; create new regional commissions to recommend how public dollars are spent; and shift the burden of taxes across Montana.

Montana's Gross State Product growth by industry sector. Nov. 19, 2018
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

Montana’s Gross State Product, wages and personal income are expected to grow between 3 and 4 percent each of the next few years, according to reports given to lawmakers Monday. That growth rate is slightly below the state’s long-term trend since 2001.

Those reports from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Division drove a projection for how much tax revenue Montana is expected to bring in as lawmakers start building the state’s next two-year budget.

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