Montana Lawmakers Split on How to Cut Taxes

Tuesday, 15 Mar 2011 02:15 PM

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Montana lawmakers are considering tax cuts for business and homeowners, and hope to have them passed before the end of the legislative session. Lawmakers introduced two bills: One to cut the state’s property tax on businesses, and the other to consider an income-tax credit for homeowners, the Great Falls Tribune reported Tuesday.

Although both Democrats and Republicans agree on tax cuts, they differ on the approach. Democrats want to eliminate taxes for all but Montana’s largest businesses. Republicans want to give all businesses tax breaks up to a certain amount of property value.

State Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, the Kalispell Republican who chairs the Senate Tax Committee, said thresholds penalize larger businesses for buying the equipment they need to expand and create jobs.

"Republicans don't like thresholds," he told the newspaper. "They think it's bad tax policy."

One Republican proposal would seek to use lower property values to assess taxes in order to address the problem of skyrocketing property values. Democrats want to ensure that property taxes don’t exceed a percentage of an owner’s income.

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