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Forecasts predict strengthening Montana economy, revenues

Currently, forecasts point towards a strengthening of Montana’s economy. This is being used as a basis for a new tax plan for Montana. It will be interesting to see how things pan out as our Legislative session convenes in February.

Forecasts predict strengthening Montana economy, revenues

By MATT VOLZ Associated Press Nov 16, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forecasts released this week predict a strengthening economy and a modest revenue boost for Montana over the next two years, though a legislative leader says the recent declines amid a downturn in oil and coal production will take their toll on the next state budget.

The separate revenue estimates by Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget office and the Legislative Fiscal Division forecast the state’s general fund growing as wages increase, oil prices rebound and interest rates rise. Gov. Steve Bullock’s estimate predicts general fund revenue will rise from $2.1 billion last summer to $2.45 billion in 2019, which is about the same as the Legislature’s outlook.

Both reports predict upticks in individual income tax collections, which make up more than half of the state’s revenue, driven by wage growth that is expected to rise between 4 percent and 6 percent a year. Corporation taxes and oil and natural gas production taxes are also predicted to increase with natural resources prices expected to go up and corporate profits forecast to rise.
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