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Montana bill looks to raise taxes on highest income earners

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March 15, 2013

Montana

By Tyler King

HELENA, Montana: Democratic Senator Christine Kaufmann has proposed a bill that would raise taxes on those earning more than $150,000 in taxable income. Those with a taxable income below $14,000 would see a tax reduction. Senate Bill 379 (timed out) would revise state income tax rates by creating three additional brackets for high-income owners. The bill would limit the capital-gains credit to gains on the sale of depreciable property and create a child credit equal to 20 percent of the federal child credit. The new tax rates would be 8.9% for those earning above $250,000 and 7.9% for those above $150,000. Kaufmann's bill would increase state tax revenue by $30 million over the next two years.[1][2]

Supporters of the bill argued that lower income residents need a tax break more than higher-income earners. Kaufmann stated, "it is important to bring bills forward that push the edge a little bit." However, she does not anticipate the bill winning enough votes. Kaufmann's said she thinks introducing the idea could pave the way for such a concept to be included later in other legislation.[1]

Opponents of the bill, including the Montana Chamber of Commerce, called the proposal "wealth distribution" that would set back economic development efforts. Bruce Tutvedt (R), chairman of the Taxation Committee, said a tax hike on higher income earners would have no chance of getting GOP support.[1]

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