Jonathon Ambarian:

On Monday, the Montana Legislature began finalizing several proposals to reform the state’s tax system.


The legislature is scheduled to adjourn this week and these tax proposals are something lawmakers will need to tackle before they close the session.

One proposed bill would lower the property taxes businesses pay on the equipment they own, while the other would reduce the number of income tax rates and eliminate many tax credits.

Together, the two bills would cost the state more than $130 million over the next two years in their current form. So, joint House and Senate committees met to decide how to amend the bills to make them fit into the state budget.

The Legislature's current budget, which passed both houses and now awaits the Governor's decision, projects spending that exceeds projected income by $70 million.

The committees decided to postpone action on the tax bills so they could get updated numbers on their fiscal effects. The committees will make their final decisions on the bills on Tuesday.

Jonathon S. Ambarian; Legislative News Service;UM School of Journalism; Apr. 22, 2013