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Legislature considers tax hike for $400K earners

By Cole Grant/UM Legislative News Service

HELENA – The House Taxation Committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would raise taxes for Montanans making more than $400,000 a year in taxable income.

Kim Abbott

House Bill 330 would keep the tax rates the same until someone hits that $400,000 mark. Then the rate would go from 6.9 percent to 8.9 percent.

Rep. Kim Abbott, D-Helena, is carrying the bill and said her motivation was to look at responsible and fair ways to raise revenue. She hopes to prevent cuts that she said would hurt communities.

“Whether it’s maintenance for roads and bridges, or it’s post-secondary education, or it’s services for our constituents who are most vulnerable,” Abbott said.

Montana is facing a budget shortfall. This legislative session, much of the discussion among lawmakers has revolved around how to pay for new programs, what to cut in existing programs, and how the state can increase revenue.

Cole Grant is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.