Gianforte Signs Broadband, Business Tax Bills
Funding for projects to expand high-speed Internet across Montana is moving forward under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte.
The policy creates a grant program under the state Department of Commerce to fund broadband projects around Montana. It’ll use $275 million of the money Montana received from federal government stimulus.
In an emailed statement, Gianforte said it’s a “historic investment to close the digital divide.” According to the Federal Communications Commission, about one in three Montanans don’t have access to broadband, which is three times the national average.
The broadband buildout funding received bipartisan support, but Democrats opposed another bill on Gianforte’s desk that gives businesses tax cuts for laying cable for high-speed connections.
In addition to the broadband bill, Montana businesses old and new will see a change in how they pay corporate taxes under two new laws signed by Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte.
One of the new laws will exempt qualifying businesses from paying capital gains tax on the sale of employee-owned stock if they move to Montana and hire locals. Another will simplify the corporate income tax system to tax out-of-state digital retailers and reduce the tax burden on in-state businesses.
In an emailed statement, Gianforte said that “by attracting entrepreneurs to our state and keeping existing ones in Montana, they’ll thrive, grow, and create greater opportunities for Montanans.”
Democrats voted against the tax proposals, saying they benefit wealthy Montanans instead of those who need financial help the most.
The following bills, signed by Gianforte, were transmitted to the Secretary of State Tuesday afternoon:
SB 87Sen. Duane Ankney (R-Colstrip) Revise coal-fired power/water-right owner legal responsibilities
SB 114Sen. Jason Ellsworth (R-Hamilton) Revise the homestead exemption
SB 134Sen. Jason Small (R-Busby) Revise board of investment loans for coal-fired generation remediation
SB 147Sen. Mary McNally (D-Billings) Establish commercial property assessed capital enhancements program
SB 172Sen. Dave Howard (R-Park City) Provide for the religion is essential act
SB 212Sen. Ryan Osmundson (R-Buffalo) Revise laws related to property tax bills
SB 254Sen. Mary McNally (D-Billings) Revising daylight savings time
SB 272Sen. Gordon Vance (R-Belgrade) Generally revise Montana Information Technology Act
SB 300Sen. Carl Glimm (R-Kila) Generally revise laws related to driver education
SB 320Sen. Ellie Boldman (D-Missoula) Generally revise business law pertaining to alcohol delivery
SB 336Sen. Chris Friedel (R-Billings) Generally revise driver license laws
SB 354Sen. Steve Hinebauch (R-Wibaux) Revise laws related to land servitudes and easements
SB 374Sen. Cary Smith (R-Billings) Revise laws related to dispensing of drugs by medical practitioners
SB 398Sen. Jason Ellsworth (R-Hamilton) Generally revise vaping laws
SB 402Sen. Cary Smith (R-Billings) Generally revise laws related to the judiciary
SB 403Sen. Bob Keenan (R-Big Fork) Revise county water and/or sewer district rate notification laws