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Montana House Bill 222 Tabled in the First Hearing

Property tax relief backed by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte suffered a major setback on its first hearing (Photo: Montana Office of Tourism)
Property tax relief backed by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte suffered a major setback on its first hearing (Photo: Montana Office of Tourism)

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has proposed a property tax relief program or House Bill 222. This bill aims to provide $1 billion in property and income tax reductions. More details from KTVH states that House Bill 222 would reduce up to $1,000 of property for the next two years in a Montana property owner’s primary residence. Gianforte added that around $500 million would return to taxpayers.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte continues to urge the Senate to pass House Bill 222 (Photo: NBC Montana)

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte continues to urge the Senate to pass House Bill 222 (Photo: NBC Montana)

Earlier this month, Gianforte held a news conference urging lawmakers to hasten the procedure on the proposal. He said, “Ultimately, this isn’t the government’s money; it’s the money of hard-working Montanans who earn it. We’re committed to putting money back in Montanans’ pockets through permanent, long-term tax relief and rebates.”

The first hearing was set last week, along with other bill proposals. However, a day before the first hearing, the bill was tabled during the executive action in a committee meeting. Rep. Tom Welch sponsored the bill. But it was moved to the table by Rep. Sue Vinton, earning a vote of 14-7.

A spokesperson of Gianforte sent a statement to NBC Montana saying that the governor is shocked by the legislator’s decision.

Lawmakers who voted for the tabling said the bill would likely be revived. Still, they would like to hear other property tax relief proposals before approving any legislation. Other tax-related proposals are House Bill 212 and House Bill 192.

Rep. Josh Kassmier said that House Bill 212 would increase Montana’s exemption for business equipment tax. Smaller businesses are exempted if they have less than $300,000 for their total equipment. HB 212 aims to raise the limit of up to $1 million. While House Bill 192 would set aside $250 million in property tax rebates. Rep. Bill Mercer added that it would also have another $650 million for individual income tax rebates. If approved, married couples would receive up to $2,500, and up to $1,250 for individuals.

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