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Montana Legislature Report for Timber Harvesters and Haulers – Week 7

Montana Legislative Session Update - Week 7

By Jason Todhunter, MLA’s hard-working representative.

Below are some highlights from week seven of Montana’s 68th Legislative session, including some bills to monitor in the coming months that will have an impact on MLA members:

HB 424Generally revise sustainability of state finances and provide for transfers (Llew Jones)

Support - This bill triples the fire suppression account for a rainy day (or a hot, dry day, I should say!). It sets the state up to be ready for a bad fire season. Another good thing about this is that it will increase the allowance per biennium to $25 million for fire mitigation and preparation activities. It is a smart move, for then we can fight fire year around by doing fuel reduction work and not putting all our eggs into the suppression basket!

HB 212 – Increase the business equipment tax exemption (Joshua Kassmier)

Update: This bill was heard in the Senate Tax committee, where we (MLA) and many other business interests supported the bill. Support - This bill will raise the tax exemption from the current $300,000 level to $1 million of your class 8 business equipment tax. It is a great bill that will backfill the counties and help businesses grow without raising taxes on your home. It is a true exemption that will give everyone a break from this regressive tax.

Watch for more updates on comparable legislative proposals in the coming months. In the meantime, for those of you with the time/passion for following the legislative process:

The Montana Logging Association is a strong voice for Montana’s timber harvesting industry professionals, representing the interests and advocating for more than 500 members in state and federal legislative matters.

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