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Legislature

The 64th Montana Legislature at the State Capitol in January 2015.

HELENA – Here’s a look at some of the major bills to cut taxes bill before the Legislature, a quick summary, their estimated costs and their status:

The estimated costs are based on fiscal notes from the governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning in conjunction with the state Revenue Department.

The fiscal notes calculate the estimated loss of general fund tax revenue from these bills, unless otherwise noted. The notes do not estimate any potential economic benefits from the tax cuts.

House Bill 166, by House Majority Leader Keith Regier, R-Kalispell. What it does: Permanently cuts state individual income taxes by reducing the tax rates for each of the seven brackets of taxable income by one-tenth of 1 percent. What it costs: $40 million over next two years and about $40 million over following two years. Status: Passed by the House and pending in Senate.

House Bill 169, by Rep. Art Wittich, R-Bozeman. What it does: Temporarily cuts income tax rates by a combined 5 percent over two years and provides nonrefundable $100 income tax credit for homeowners. What it costs: $77 million over two years. Status: Passed by House and pending in Senate.

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House Bill 201, by Regier. What it does: Permanently reduces state property tax equalization mills to 35 from current 40. What it costs: $25 million over next two years and $26 million over following two years. Status: Endorsed by House and re-referred to Appropriations Committee before final House vote.

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House Bill 213, by Miller. What it does: Reduces taxable value on business equipment by increasing tax exemption to $500,000 from current $100,000. What it costs: Cuts property tax revenue by $3.7 million over two years and $2.4 million in future years. Its general fund cost will increase by an as yet undetermined amount to cover the cost of sending funds to local governments to backfill their coffers for the lost of the property tax money. Status: Amended by House Taxation Committee to require the backfill.

House Bill 266, by Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer, R-Superior. What it does: It is a proposed November 2016 referendum to permanently reduce all income tax rates by 10 percent. What it costs: $70 million over the next two years and $259 million over the following two years. Status: Heard by House committee.

House Bill 361, by Rep. Greg Hertz, R-Polson. What it does: Gives income tax credit for statewide property tax mill levies (95 school equalization mills) on residences with a market value of up to $185,000 until 2023. What it costs: $39 million over next two years $83 million over following two years. Status: Hearing in House Taxation Committee on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 200, by Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip. What it does: Permanently reduces income tax rates, widens tax brackets and reduces capital gains credit rate. What it costs: $80 million over next two years and by $113.5 million in following two years. Status: Endorsed by Senate and sent to Senate Finance and Claims Committee for review.

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