MTPR

taxes

Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock’s budget director today said the federal tax bill passed by Congress is expected to result in a $20 million loss in state revenue over the next two years. And that loss is not significant enough to call a special legislative session or require further cuts to government spending.

The Montana Legislature Subcommittee on Taxes and the Changing Economy, Jan. 17, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

When it became clear that state revenues were falling short of expectations during the last legislative session, state lawmakers agreed they should start studying Montana’s changing economy.

Earlier in the session, revenue forecasts from legislative and executive branch analysts said the state’s economy was strong. But revenues ended up coming in way short and state lawmakers are starting to ask why.

A mountain lion, also known as a cougar, puma, or catamount. (File Photo)
(PD)

Since 2007 Montana taxpayers have compensated ranchers when wolves and grizzly bears kill their livestock — to the tune of up to $200,000 a year. Some of that money is also spent on projects designed to prevent predator conflicts. That earns it high marks from both ranchers and conservation organizations.

Last year, state lawmakers voted to add mountain lion-related losses to the compensation list for the first time. The problem is, the program didn’t get any additional funding to do that.

Montana State Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

MTPR is doing a lot of reporting on the more than $170 million worth of cuts to the state budget that are resulting in people losing their jobs across state government and with private contractors, and reduced services to some of Montana’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

Today, we’ve asked our Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney to join us for a big picture look at how the cuts came about, where they’re landing and whether there are any alternatives.

Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana officials say the tax overhaul passed by Congress could mean a $46 million loss in state revenue, resulting in a possible special legislative session. There's also the chance the state could get sued by taxpayers.

But there is no consensus yet on the federal law’s impact in Montana.

While coal production is down nationwide, a new report says it still brings a lot of money to Montana. 

NorthWestern Energy truck.
Sue Ginn / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Public Service Commission wants the state’s regulated utilities to calculate the big reductions in taxes each company expects to pay starting next year. 

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana's congressional delegation may benefit financially under the new federal tax overhaul, but caps on deductions from state and local taxes may largely undo those benefits.

Under the measure Congress approved Wednesday, Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines would likely save a few thousand dollars, while Rep. Greg Gianforte would likely pay more.

State budgets.
(PD)

Montana is starting to feel the impact of budget cuts that lawmakers approved as a way to deal with the state's $227 million deficit. Here's a roundup of some of our reporting on the state budget cuts so far.

At a town hall meeting in Bozeman Tuesday, state Democrats said the GOP tax plan could worsen Montana’s budget woes.

Pages