HELENA, Mont. – Proponents today testified in support of three of Governor Gianforte’s pro-growth, pro-jobs bills to make Montana more competitive.
The Personal Income Tax Relief Act, S.B. 159, sponsored by Senator Greg Hertz (R-Polson), reduces Montana’s top income tax rate from 6.9% to 6.75% for individuals with a taxable income of more than $18,400.
The COMPETES Act, S.B. 182, also sponsored by Senator Hertz, makes incremental and responsible reductions to Montana’s income tax rate, one of the highest in the Rocky Mountain West.
The Entrepreneur Magnet Act, sponsored by Senate President Mark Blasdel (R-Kalispell), encourages entrepreneurs to bring their businesses to Montana. The measure, S.B. 184, will help attract entrepreneurs and their long-term, good-paying jobs to Montana by exempting qualifying new businesses from paying capital gains tax on the sale of employee-owned stock.
Taken together, these bills from Governor Gianforte’s Roadmap to the Montana Comeback budget serve as important economic development tools to make Montana more competitive.
At this morning’s hearings before the Senate Taxation Committee, many Montanans lined up to support the pro-growth, pro-jobs initiatives. Below is a sample of the support the three measures received before the committee:
Nicole Rolf, senior director of governmental affairs for the Montana Farm Bureau Federation: “We are here today to support SB 159 because we see that it provides broad-based tax relief to many people, including farmers and ranchers. Farming and ranching is a volatile business, so our income levels fluctuate from year to year, but we see this as a good way to help them keep a few more dollars in their pockets which will likely be reinvested in their local communities.”
Jason Todhunter, headwaters regional representative of the Montana Logging Association: “This [SB 159] is a good bill. It’s especially going to help all of those logging employees who will see a little more in their paycheck.”
Brad Griffin, on behalf of the Montana Retail Association, Montana Restaurant Association, and Montana Equipment Dealers: “We think [SB 159] sends the right message to our workforce, and to our entrepreneurs, so please support it.”
Jan Rouse, government affairs specialist for NorthWestern Energy: “We too recognize the benefit that [SB 159] can bring to families, and additional financial strength, and we support the bill.”
Bridger Mahlum, government relations director for the Montana Chamber of Commerce: “This [SB 182] is state finance policy sending a message that Montana wants you to bring your business here, expand your operations here, and support communities here.”
Daniel Brooks, director of business advocacy for the Billings Chamber of Commerce: “We see [SB 182] as a responsible way to build on the economic growth that we believe will be realized as our economy recovers and grows in the near future.”
Ronda Wiggers, representing the Helena Chamber of Commerce, and the National Federation of Independent Business: “[SB 182 is] a responsible way to allow excess collections to lower taxes rather than increase spending, while still making sure that we’ve kept our reserve funds ready for emergencies and fires.”
Luke Mauritsen, founder of Montana Instruments: “I would like to see Montana recognized as one of the best places to start a business and grow a business, not just because of the lifestyle we already have…but also because we have a favorable business environment for entrepreneurs….[SB 184] is an important tool for attracting the best people and the best ideas to our state.”