Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte made a stop in Billings Thursday to highlight Montana’s economic comeback and speak out against the prospect of higher taxes if President Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill is revived.
“All this extra spending which makes each one of Montana’s paychecks go less far. It’s a bad idea... It’s really an appeal in general and to the members of the Senate in, particular, to turn off the spigot and vote no,” said the Republican governor.
The panel discussion was hosted by Marc Short, executive director of the Coalition to Protect American Workers, which lobbies against any higher taxes for businesses. Montana Chamber of Commerce President Todd O’Hair and Montana Farm Bureau President John Youngberg joined the governor on the stage.
The event took place at C&B Operations, a John Deere dealership, in Billings. Much of the discussion focused on the impact that the Build Back Better plan might have on Montana’s farmers and ranchers, specifically on capital gains.
“When you start looking at doing away with stepped-up basis, if we have to pay capital gains on the amount they sell it for literally it will put a lot of people out of business—it will put them on the market, it will take them out of the family farm and ranch,” said Youngberg, who was one of the panelists.
Youngberg says reducing or removing the business equipment tax is also important for Montana farmers.
“The investment that people are making is significant and when you remove a portion of the business equipment tax from that it’s money that they can either put back into their operation or back into the economy,” he says.
The governor touted the progress that has been made in the state as unemployment levels fell to a new record low recently. Nevertheless, many businesses can’t find enough workers.
“We have more working in Montana today than ever in our history and yet our economy keeps growing so there are needs. That’s why we have been investing in trades education to really close the skills gap and get people into the workforce to fill these positions, “said Gianforte.