Bills To Reduce Income Taxes, Change Brackets Moving Through Montana House
A pair of bills to cut Montana’s income tax and reduce the number of state income tax brackets has been endorsed along party lines by House lawmakers.
One bill cuts the top state income tax rate from 6.9% to 6.75%. A second bill gets rid of two dozen tax credits, reduces the number of income tax brackets to two and further cuts the top rate to 6.5% starting in 2024.
Elliston Republican Rep. Becky Beard says the cuts will make Montana economically competitive with neighboring states.
“These reductions will be achieved in a sensible manner so our balanced budget will remain just that--balanced," Beard said.
Democrats opposed the bills, saying the tax policy changes disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
After receiving new amendments, the policies face another House vote before moving back to the Senate.
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s budget director has reportedly stated the administration would like to lower the top income tax rate to 5%. Beard says she’s also heard that goal from the governor.
Gianforte has called for cutting property and business equipment taxes, policies lawmakers will likely vote on in coming days.
Kevin Trevellyan is Yellowstone Public Radio's Report for America statehouse reporter.