Montana Public Radio

taxes

Greens Are Out, Mail Is In, Sales Tax Fearmongering Returns

20 hours ago

There will be no Greens on the November ballot, and that ballot will likely be mailed in. Montana is falling short on the census. A new poll shows Republicans ahead. And a new campaign ad plays on Montana's historic hatred of a sales tax.

Listen now on Campaign Beat with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Tax calculator
iStock

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold this spring, the federal government postponed the traditional April 15 income tax filing deadline until Wednesday, July 15. The Montana filing deadline falls on the same day.

Estimated FY 2020 Montana budget balances.
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

A letter drafted by the Montana speaker of the House asks Gov. Steve Bullock to consider reducing government spending over concerns about declining state revenue.

The draft will be discussed by the legislative Revenue Interim Committee next week as state leaders continue to crunch the numbers of the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Montana.

Responses to a survey released Thursday show strong support for increasing taxes in Montana to fund conservation projects. At the same time, respondents said they want out-of-staters to pay more.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A new state revenue update says Montana’s rainy day and firefighting funds are looking flush as more money is coming in than projected. But a report from legislative researchers indicates the recent cashflow spike could be a temporary blip.

Voter values, 2018 Montana Elections Surveys. Data collected by the Human Ecology Learning & Problem Solving (HELPS) Lab, Montana State University‐Bozeman.
Cassidy Alexander, via Datawrapper / Montana Public Radio

New data released from a survey of Montana voters reveals details in the state’s political divides. It shows what voters think of candidates not originally from Montana, whether people think teachers should be able to carry guns in schools, and voters preferences on government spending and their trust in the news media.

The information comes from a pre- and post-2018-election poll from Montana State University and the Montana Television Network.

Missoula County Courthouse.
Cheri Trusler / Montana Public Radio

The federal government is awarding Montana $34 millon of PILT funding this year. That’s a 15-percent drop from last year’s record-high allocation.

PILT stands for 'Payment in Lieu of Taxes.' These are payments awarded to counties with federal lands that aren’t taxable by local governments.

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

Montana lawmakers will take a comprehensive look at state and local tax policy over the next two years. Legislators say a changing economy and increasing population means Montana should consider new ways of collecting taxes.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature passed 375 bills before it adjourned late last week. Gov. Steve Bullock must now decide which of them he will sign or veto.

At an end of session press conference Bullock sounded pleased.

“Dang near every proposal that I asked this legislative body to seriously consider will be making its way to my desk." he said.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Controversial policy was decided in the waning hours of the 2019 Montana legislative session Thursday. The final acts of the Legislature included funding for a new state history museum, and raising fees on brokers and investment advisors.

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