Senate committee kills economic-development district bill

Posted at 12:01 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 16:15:52-04

HELENA — A state Senate committee Thursday voted to kill a bill aimed at creating economic-development districts in Montana, including the proposed Big Sky One District in Billings.

The Senate Taxation Committee deadlocked 6-6 on a motion to approve Senate Bill 340, which is sponsored by Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings — and then voted to “table” or kill the measure.

SB340 would allow the creation of “economic impact districts” by local and tribal governments, in which “civic infrastructure projects” could be exempt from property taxes and state procurement laws.

Once a private company invests $300 million into the district project, state and local governments would contribute another $75 million each, that would be repaid.

City officials from across the state testified last week in favor of the bill, saying it could foster projects meant to recruit and retain workers locally.