It's Tax Day - Hooray! Let's Invest in Montana.

Apr 15, 2015

Today is what many people refer to as Tax Day, and not always with a smile on their faces. But you know what? We’d all be a lot less better off if our state didn’t call on us to pool our resources in ways that invest in the public good today and in the future.

That’s because those resources enable us to invest in the building blocks of a strong economy and the quality of life that makes Montana such a great place to live.

In two previous blogs, Who Pays? and We Pay, Why Don’t They?, we looked at who contributes to paying taxes in Montana. We found that low-and-moderate income families pay a greater share of their income in taxes than wealthy residents, and tax breaks like the capital gains tax credit benefit large businesses at the expense of all Montanans. Because of this, there’s a great need to improve tax fairness in the state. Today, let’s explore how the money is used.

The Montana Department of Revenue’s biennial report is a good roadmap for learning about how tax revenue is invested back into our communities.

So, sure, some folks like to complain about paying taxes on April 15th. But, we’d all have a lot more to complain about if Tax Day never came. Taxes are the visual proof that all Montanans come together to invest in the things that matter most. Tax dollars support the everyday necessities we rely on like police officers, hospitals, and public schools. These funds also sustain items that enrich our lives like parks and libraries. On this Tax Day, take a moment to consider just how much taxes improve you and your family’s well-being.

[caption id="attachment_2440" align="aligncenter" width="481"]spending pie chart Source: Montana Department of Revenue[/caption]

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.