Source: Yellowstone Public Radio January 31, 2017
Photo Credit: Jackie Yamanaka
This week, the topics of discussion from the Montana Legislature: a local option tax proposal and sentencing reform in the state’s criminal justice system.
Senator Mike Phillips, D-Bozeman, requested a bill draft to allow local voters to decide if they want to impose a tax on narrowly defined luxury items. This tax, to be no more than 4%, is designed to target purchases made primarily by tourists such as prepared meals and alcohol at restaurants and bars. The bill draft includes language that this luxury tax will automatically terminate after a term established by local voters. The proceeds from this local option tax are to provide homeowners with some property tax relief and pay for local, critical public works projects. Phillips is looking for a Republican to sponsor or co-sponsor this proposal. It hasn’t yet been formally introduced in the 2017 legislative session.