Continued from Page 1: Billion-Dollar Tax Rebate, Spending Package Passes Budget Committee
Six-bill package would put a sizable chunk of the state’s $2.5 billion surplus to property and income tax rebates to Montana taxpayers. It advances with
Republican support and Democratic
Democrats and one Republican on the committee voiced concern that the Legislature is advancing the rebate measures now, early in this year’s legislative session, rather than waiting until later in the session when lawmakers have a clearer picture of how much they need to spend on other priorities, such as housing affordability efforts or throwing a lifeline to cash-strapped nursing homes.
“I’m afraid what will happen is that we get to the end of the session and we find that we have a big unmet need, and all of a sudden we’re scrambling for cash,” said Rep. John Fitzpatrick, R-Anaconda, before voting with his fellow Republicans.
Rep. Mary Caferro, D-Helena, argued the state could be doing more to help Montanans like senior citizens who’ve been displaced by nursing home closures, or people who are doing unpaid work caring for family members with Alzheimer’s and as such won’t benefit from an income tax refund.
“I would like us to think more broadly of who we represent than ‘the taxpayer’,” Caferro said.
The six bills in the package are as follows. All advanced from the committee Friday on party-line or near-party-line votes:
House Bill 222, which would put about $284 million into property tax rebates. In its current form it would provide rebates of up to $500 per homeowner for taxes paid in 2022 and 2023. The Montana Department of Revenue estimates that about 292,000 households would be eligible each year.
House Bill 192, as amended Friday, would put $480 million into income tax rebates. Individual taxpayers would qualify for up to $1,250 in rebates on their 2021 state income tax bill.
House Bill 212, which would raise the exemption threshold for the state’s business equipment tax from $300,000 of business property to $1 million. It includes a provision to backfill local government revenues and would cost the state about $7 million a year going forward.
House Bill 221, which would change how the state defines its capital gains rate and reduce the rates. It would set the state’s long-term capital gains tax rate at 3% for the first $41,000 of applicable capital gains income and at 4.1% for income beyond that.
House Bill 267, which would put $100 million into a highway construction fund. Supporters have said the money would make it possible for the state to access additional federal transportation matching funds. Unlike the other bills in the package, HB 267 advanced with unanimous support from the committee.
House Bill 251, which puts $150 million into paying down existing state debt.
By Eric Dietrich , Montana Free Press
Kootenai River Campground is in the running “Best Campgrounds In America” Cast Your Vote
We have been selected as a finalist for “Best Campgrounds in America”. We are pretty excited but we need your help!
These awards recognize campgrounds on Campspot who are leading the way when it comes to top notch destination escapes, camper experiences, unique offerings, and more. This year they have campgrounds in 12 different categories that were chosen based on internal data including reservations, reviews, searches, and more, as well as listing completion and photography.
If you have a few minutes, please visit
www.campspot.com/about/campspot-awards to cast your vote and help us secure a place on the list of top camping destinations. Thank you for your support!
Courtesy of Chris & Marcey
Kootenai River Campground
Little Libby Logger Basketball Season A Success
Courtesy of Little Libby Loggers
A huge thank you to all of the parents, coaches, players, volunteers, and community members who made the first Little Libby Logger basketball season a success.
Your dedication, hard work, and support have made a huge difference in the lives of our young players. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Photo Courtesy of Little Libby Loggers