End of Session: What happened to taxes in Montana?

Apr 25, 2019

At the end of the legislative session, it is time to reflect on the policy wins and losses specific to our work on state tax policy. While revenue projections for the biennium did not come in significantly lower than projected, Montana has struggled through two difficult budget cycles, rounds of deep cuts to health and social services, and insufficient revenue to restore funds. MBPC staff pursued thoughtful and reasonable revenue proposals, provided research and testimony on over 100 tax bills, and fended off irresponsible tax policies from becoming law throughout the past 90 days. Here is a summary of our work related to tax legislation this session:

Advocating for revenue

The Legislature saw a range of proposals that would have raised revenue from a variety of different sources. Earlier this session, MBPC published a summary of tax bills that could have raised much-needed revenue to fund essential state services. The blog provides detail on the following proposals MBPC supported that were heard in House and Senate Tax Committees:

 Successful defensive work to table harmful tax bills

While this session proved challenging once again to pass responsible revenue-raising bills, MBPC was able to successfully defend against many harmful tax bills. Below is a short summary of the bills we testified against:

The tax bills that got away 

There were two tax bills that MBPC opposed, but unfortunately made it to the governor’s desk.


MBPC is disappointed that the House and Senate Tax Committees were unable to advance reasonable revenue proposals. Responsible revenue policies are an important part of the equation to build a state budget that can serve all Montanans. Despite the uphill battle, our work was crucial to prevent bad tax policies from becoming state law. Even though this session has ended, MBPC’s work is not done. The bills to cut taxes for the wealthy will keep coming in the future and MBPC will be there to fight back. In the interim, MBPC will continue to do everything we can to bring communities, businesses, advocates, and policy makers across the state together to have meaningful conversations about revenue in Montana. We can do better. Montana families deserve better.

Montana Budget & Policy Center

Shaping policy for a stronger Montana.

MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.