Governor Wants to Cut Taxes
Early this month, Governor Greg Gianforte spotlighted his pro-family, pro-business tax relief agenda in a press conference at the State Capitol.
“All of our tax proposals are rooted in a simple philosophy: hardworking Montanans should keep more of what they earn,” Governor Gianforte said. “We’re ready to give Montanans $1 billion in tax relief, and we look forward to working with the legislature to do it. Now, it’s time to get to work and get it done.”
During the press conference, the governor highlighted elements of his Budget for Montana Families, which provides Montanans with $1 billion in property and income tax relief, the largest tax cut in Montana history.
“Hardworking Montanans need tax relief now and without delay,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Our budget is built for them – hardworking Montanans who make our state stronger and enrich our communities. Our budget is for the farmers and ranchers, teachers and law enforcement, small business owners, seniors, and all our hardworking people – those who make Montana the Last Best Place.”
The governor’s budget provides $500 million in property tax relief for Montanans for their primary residence, with a $1,000 property tax rebate in both 2023 and 2024.
“We can make a difference for the retired couple in the Flathead who, because they can’t afford their rising property taxes, are thinking about selling the home they raised their kids in,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Let’s provide them with $2,000 in property tax relief over the next two years.”
Recognizing the overwhelming bulk of property taxes go to local government, the governor has also called for property tax reforms, including greater transparency and accountability in local government spending, an option to pay property taxes monthly, and greater fiscal responsibility from local governments.
To make Montana more competitive and help Montanans keep more of what they earn, the governor’s budget reduces the income tax rate most Montanans pay from 6.5% to 5.9% and substantially increases the state’s earned income tax credit. When the governor took office in 2021, the top income tax rate was 6.9%.
To support hardworking families, the governor’s budget also provides families with a $1,200 child tax credit for children under six years of age, as well as a $5,000 adoption tax credit to make it easier for Montanans to open their homes to children.
“Family is the foundation of our society. We should do everything we can to make families stronger,” the governor continued. “Let’s provide families with a $1,200 child tax credit to help them raise their kids and pay for food, clothes, child care and health care.”
The governor’s budget cuts taxes for Montana’s small business owners, family farmers, and family ranchers by expanding the business equipment tax exemption from $300,000 to $1 million. Taken with similar reforms from 2021, the measure eliminates the business equipment tax burden for more than 5,000 small businesses, farms, and ranches.
“Our proposed tax relief will support small business owners as well as family farmers and ranchers,” the governor said. “They are the backbone of our economy, create jobs and opportunity for Montanans in every corner of the state, and make our families and communities stronger. Let’s provide them with tax relief by further reforming the business equipment tax.”
Under Governor Gianforte’s leadership, more Montanans are working than ever before and Montanans created a record number of new businesses in 2022, which follows a year of record-breaking business creation in the governor’s first year in office.