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Op-Ed: Montana Taxpayers Deserve a Refund

By Speaker of the House: Rep. Matt Regier, Speaker Pro Tempore: Rep. Rhonda Knudsen and Major Leader: Rep. Sue Vinton

The 68th Montana Legislature is officially in session, and the House has already gaveled in. This year the state faces a unique challenge of deciding how to spend a $2 billion surplus.

As Leadership of the Montana House, our response to that challenge is supporting House Bill 192, introduced by Representative Bill Mercer of Billings. The bill entails three initiates: refund taxpayers on overpaid income taxes, alleviate the property tax crunch and reduce the state’s debt.

This session we are committed to returning Montana taxpayers their hard-earned money. In order to qualify for the rebate, individuals must be legal Montana residents as of January 2021. As House leadership, we know that returning thousands of dollars to Montanans will be a tremendous help for folks struggling with the high cost of living and inflation. This bill is only the beginning of our House Republican agenda to help the people of Montana this session.

In addition, it’s no secret that the housing crisis is affecting Montana as a whole and HB 192 addresses that issue. We take pride in the financially responsible way we are handling the affordability challenge. The bill would dedicate $250 Million to property tax relief to our hardworking homeowners. HB 192 proposes for Montanans to get a $1,000 rebate on their primary residence. Our property tax relief plan helps working Montanans, put their tangible money back in the bank.

As Montanans, we all pay our debt and HB 192 would allow part of the $2 Billion surplus to be used to pay off general obligation bonds. Being able to give Montanans debt relief is trident to our fiscal responsibility as your House leadership. We are thrilled that HB 192’s debt reduction meets the goal for which we were elected: defending Montana’s fiscally conservative beliefs.

As House leadership, we proudly support this important piece of legislation for the people of Montana in an effort return money to income and property taxpayers while reduce your debt.