Governor Gianforte Introduces New Budget for the 2023 Biennium
He calls it ‘the Road Map to the Montana Comeback'.
Governor Greg Gianforte introduced his proposed budget for the 2023 biennium at a press conference in Helena on Thursday, along with his new Budget Director Kurt Alme.
Gianforte said he and his staff are determined to deliver tax cuts to Montanans through the proposed budget, and also to draw more businesses to relocate in Montana.
“It provides about $50 million in targeted tax reductions because we have the second highest individual income tax rate in the Rocky Mountain West,” said Gianforte. Because of that many businesses choose to take their operations and the associated jobs to Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.”
Gianforte said the average taxpayer will also see some relief in the proposed budget.
“With our budget, Montanans will keep more of what they earn, cutting the income tax rate to 6.75%,” he said. “More than half of Montana taxpayers will see income tax cuts of almost $30 million per year. This is just a first step. As we find greater efficiencies in government, and our economy continues to grow, we will continue to cut taxes and make Montana more competitive with our neighbors.”
Gianforte also addressed one of Montana’s chronic problems, property taxes, in his budget.
“Just like clockwork, reappraisals drive up Montana's property tax bills every two years,” he said. “Our budget provides an additional $3 million per year to help lower income Montanans, including seniors and disabled vets, who shouldn't have to choose between putting food on the table or paying their prescription drug costs and paying their skyrocketing property taxes. I asked the legislature to put a bill on my desk to accomplish this.”
Gianforte said despite what framers of the I-190 Marijuana initiative proposed, he said the Montana Legislature will decide where the revenue from pot sales will be invested.
“I believe that our constitution reserves appropriation of funds to the state legislature,” he said. “What we are requesting in this budget is that revenues from the legalization of marijuana be prioritized for two things. One is addiction recovery, and secondly, economic development. That is different than what was in the initiative but that right is reserved to the legislature. We're asking them to prioritize those two things with any funds that are raised from the legalization of marijuana.”
Watch the entire press conference here.
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