MTPR

Montana Taxpayers Association

Proposed E-Cig Tax Draws Opposition

Jan 22, 2019
Senate Bill 96 proposes a 50-percent tax on vaping products.
iStock

HELENA — Opponents are lining up against a proposed 50-percent tax on vaping products.

Twelve people testified against Senate Bill 96 on Tuesday. They argued e-cigarettes have nicotine, but they don’t have tobacco and shouldn’t be taxed like tobacco. Robert Story, executive director of the Montana Taxpayers Association, said taxing vapes is just putting a sales tax onto a specific retail item.

Montana Capitol building.
William Marcus / MTPR

Montana may join 15 other states in making it more difficult to pass new or increased taxes.

A simple majority of the state Legislature can currently approve new taxes or fees. But House Bill 148 introduced Tuesday would raise that threshold to a two-thirds supermajority.

Power plant at Colstrip, MT.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

Lawmakers in Helena are starting to debate whether the state could borrow up to $500 million to buy the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip

The future of the plant is up in the air. The West Coast consumers who Colstrip sends most of its power to are pushing away from coal-powered electricity due to climate change concerns. Coal power is also becoming more expensive relative to electricity generated by natural gas and renewables.

Lawmakers Consider Hiking "Bed Tax" And Rental Car Tax

Nov 14, 2017

Montana Legislators are considering a temporary increase in lodging and car rental taxes to preserve some government services slated to be cut to address Montana’s projected $227 million budget shortfall. It's part of a 3-prong approach sought by Governor Steve Bullock that also includes budget cuts and fund transfers during the special Legislative Session that officially convenes Tuesday.

Today Montana’s Supreme Court denied a request from unions and lawmakers to find unconstitutional a ballot initiative that aims to create funding for brain research.

Days after I-181 qualified for the general election ballot in July, Montana AFL-CIO, Montana Taxpayers Association and several state legislators, on both sides of the aisle, asked the court to not allow the initiative to go to vote this November.

Coal with the town of Colstrip in the background
Amy Martin

What is going to happen to Colstrip? That was the question Thursday as state legislators questioned companies that agreed to shut down two of the four coal-burning units of the Colstrip electricity plant.

Saying 'Taxation Is Theft,' Legislator Pushes Referendum For Tax Cuts

Feb 5, 2015
Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer (R) HD 14
Montana Legislature

State lawmakers are considering the question of who should make tax policy decisions. Voters or the Montana Legislature?

Members of the House Taxation committee heard two bills that would amend the Montana Constitution to set tax policy.

House Bill 266 wants to ask voters to  cut each income tax bracket by 10 percent.