As I noted earlier in the week, Republican Senate President Bob Story claims that expanding the state’s CHIP program would be too expensive, costing $35 million dollars.
Putting aside Senator Story’s questionable accounting and willful decision to pretend that the CHIP program wouldn’t trigger millions in federal matching funds,one can only assume that Senator Story will soon be writing editorials to Montana newspapers criticizing Senator Roy Brown’s latest effort to exempt businesses from the business tax, which will cost roughly $50 million annually:
Last week, the Senate Tax Committee heard yet another proposal, SB 490 by Sen. Roy Brown (R-Billings). Brown’s bill proposed to increase the tax exemption on business equipment from $20,000 to $5 million, a change that would take thousands of Montana businesses off the equipment tax rolls (leaving only 100 to continue paying, albeit with the $5 million exemption in pocket), reduce the business equipment slice of the property tax pie from 7% to 4%, and cost the state $50 million annually in lost tax revenue.
It is about priorities.
(Check out Session 61, an informative blog about the the current session.)