GREAT FALLS — Governor Greg Gianforte met with farmers, ranchers, and business owners at Hoven Equipment Company in Great Falls on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, to discuss the impact of recent tax reforms.
Proposed by the governor in his Budget for Montana Families, and signed into law in March, House Bill 212, sponsored by Rep. Josh Kassmier, R-Fort Benton, cuts taxes for Montana's small business owners, family farmers, and family ranchers by expanding the business equipment tax exemption from $300,000 to $1 million.
"It is so important that I get out of Helena," Gianforte said. "This is why I do my 56-county tour. I can't learn as much sitting behind my desk in Helena as I can in a machine shop where they fix farm equipment. The issue I hear over and over again is taxes are too high. This is why I am really pleased with working with the legislature to deliver the largest tax cut in state history. We are highlighting the exemption on the business equipment tax, which has now taken 5,000 small businesses off the tax rolls entirely, so they can put that money back into their operation."
In 2021, Gianforte worked with Rep. Kassmier to increase the business equipment tax exemption from $100,000 to $300,000.
"Farmers and ranchers benefit, but even the construction company," Kassmier said. "All their equipment, you got good steers, you got tell handlers, you got all that. They're burned by the same tax. So, any time we can give relief to the small business owners, they can invest more in the company, infrastructure, employees. It just benefits the local small businesses."
Gianforte noted Montana’s business equipment tax requires businesses, family farms and ranches, to reallocate resources they would otherwise invest in their operation and create jobs with, to pay a tax on the equipment and machinery they need to operate.
"I think taxes are too high," Gianforte said. "We need to make state government efficient so it can provide essential services, education and the other services that state provides, but we don't need extra. When the state collects too much, we need to give it back. It really doesn't belong to the state government. It belongs to the people of Montana."