challenges In 2016, our Democratic Governor and Republican legislature were at a four-year impasse on bonding for infrastructure investment, and the state gas tax had remained unchanged since 1994, leaving millions of matching federal dollars untapped.
In 2017, Montana passed a graduated .06 increase in gas tax to leverage $59 million in new federal matching dollars in 2019 alone. This increase provided funding for 740 local bridge and road projects.
In 2019, the Montana legislature passed a $79.9 million infrastructure package, utilizing historically low bond interest rates. As a result, nearly 100 construction projects across the state, including water, wastewater and bridge repairs began that spring.
In 2021, the Montana legislature passed a bill that incentivizes investment in broadband by providing a moratorium on property taxes.
challenges Montana employers identified an insufficient talent pool as a threat to business development. 36% of 2019 Workforce Development Survey respondents turned down business opportunities due to lack of workforce, and employers cited employees’ lack of soft skills, critical thinking, problem solving, and basic economic comprehension as top challenges.
Continue funding proven career and technical education (CTE) programming.
Utilize school funding formula and startup funds to incentivize CTE.
Create alternative accreditation pathways for teachers.
Clarify liability for businesses participating in work-based learning.
challenges Montana lacked a plan for fostering entrepreneurial development and for maintaining its status as a national leader in start-up businesses.
In 2021, the state legislature passed the Governor’s Entrepreneur Magnet Act, which gives a tax incentive to businesses to bring their business to Montana.
challenges Montana needed to reduce the cost of doing business in order to improve its business climate.
In 2017, the state legislature passed a bill that lowered the interest rate on mistakes in business income tax filings from 12% to prime rate plus 3.
In 2019, the state legislature passed a bill that eliminated tax on pollution control equipment for manufacturers.
Also in 2019, the state legislature passed a bill that increased time period a business can carry forward business losses to offset taxes from 7 years to 10 years.
During the 2021 Montana legislative session, a bill that protects businesses from frivolous lawsuits related to COVID-19 liability became law.
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Your investment in Envision 2026 enables the Montana Chamber of Commerce to continue to pursue these and other projects that create a climate in which Montana’s can flourish.