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taxes

Montana’s ongoing budget crisis has hit Gallatin County, where state Democrats say schools, mental health and disabilities services could all be affected.

Montana Politicians Divided On Tax Reform Bill

Nov 30, 2017

Democratic governor Steve Bullock released a statement today criticizing the tax reform bill moving through Congress for increasing the national debt without reducing taxes on the middle class. Democratic Senator Jon Tester has already criticized the bill because of cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

This month Montanans saw bigger property tax bills. That’s because this spring state lawmakers cut block grants to schools in order to save the state $29 million amid the ongoing budget crisis.

The elimination of the block grants to schools was spurred by the state’s more than $200 million budget crisis

UPDATE (2:35 p.m.)

Republican Senator Steve Daines now says he'll support the GOP's tax overhaul.

In a statement released Monday, Daines said he wouldn't vote for the bill in its current form, and that he wanted to ensure small business owners in Montana aren’t being put at a disadvantage by the current tax bill.

Tester Criticizes Federal Tax Overhaul Plan

Nov 17, 2017
Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Yesterday Republicans pushed a massive tax overhaul through the U.S. House, now a similar plan will be debated in the Senate. Like the House measure, it would slash the corporate tax rate and reduce personal income tax rates for many.

But Montana’s Democratic Senator, Jon Tester, isn’t a fan.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to a special edition of "Capitol Talk" our political analysis program I'm Sally Mauk And I'm joined by University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin and veteran Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson.

Chuck, the Legislature met in special session for three days this week to deal with a $227 million budget shortfall. And they've come up with a combination of cuts and transfers and fees to deal with it but not with any new tax increases as the governor had proposed. Republicans of course control the House and Senate, and Chuck they got a lot of what they wanted out of this special session.

Sen. Jon Tester.
PD

Senate Republicans are pushing for a broad tax cut, contingent on the repeal of the law requiring Americans to buy insurance coverage. Montana Senator Jon Tester wants no part of it.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says eliminating the individual mandate would leave millions uninsured.

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.

GOP Budget Plan Hopes To 'Corral' Governor

Nov 13, 2017
Rep. Rob Cook
Montana Legislature

Shelby prison deal could be Bullock’s “one exit”

As state lawmakers lay the groundwork for a special legislative session to tackle Montana’s $227 budget shortfall, the proposed GOP deal for how to plug the gap is coming into focus.

At the same time, two independent sources have confirmed to the Montana Free Press that Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, in “in talks” with top executives of CoreCivic, the owners of a private prison in Shelby that is at the center of the 2017 special session’s most contentious proposal. CoreCivic is offering to return $30 million in state money set aside for the eventual purchase of the 664-bed prison in exchange for a 10-year renewal on its contract to operate the facility. That contract is up in 2019.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers returned to Helena Monday to begin a special legislative session aimed at addressing the state's $227 million budget deficit. The governor has proposed filling the budget gap with a combination of cuts to state agencies and tax increases. But Republicans, who control both houses of the Legislature, have different plans.

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