Montana’s equipment tax for small businesses is being re-evaluated by the Montana Legislature.
Governor Greg Gianforte recently visited the Hayhook Ranch south of Clyde Park to discuss how farmers and ranchers may benefit from the BIG Jobs Act (Business Investment Grows (BIG) Jobs Act). Sponsored by state Rep. Kassmier of Fort Benton, the act doubles the business equipment tax exemption in Montana from $100,000 to $200,000.
Gianforte said, "It's critically important, agriculture is our number one industry. Equipment like this tractor sits around most of the year, yet every single farmer and rancher has to pay an annual tax. With this Big Jobs Act, we are really encouraged. We're going to take 1,500 farms and ranches off the tax rolls in Montana. Allow them to keep more of their own money. They can invest it back in new equipment, maintenance, fence or whatever to make sure we can maintain viability these operations."
Montana Farm Bureau's Sky Anderson of the Hayhook Ranch said the tax savings will helps agriculturists reinvest in their operations, through new equipment and other purchases that ultimately spread money across communities.
Anderson said, "The reinvestment of whatever tax dollars you can save is a positive thing for the overall operation. We are trying to just stay in business and you look at the bottom line at the end of the year after the calves are sold. What do we do for the next year? What do we do with any profits? Did we have a past year where we didn't make anything? Or are we just going to get by another year. And, if we save some money on the operation and we're able to, we'll just reinvest that in more new equipment. We're going to have some fencing upgrades on the operation."
About 4,000 small businesses would qualify under the act. The Big Jobs Act passed the Montana House of Representatives on February 19th, and is now being discussed in the Montana Senate.