Montana Public Media

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By Jonathon Ambarian
Legislative News Service
University of Montana School of Journalism

On Thursday, Montana’s Senate Taxation Committee heard testimony on a proposal to simplify the state’s tax code. The bill would reduce the number of income tax rates from seven to three, and it would eliminate most tax credits.

Republican sponsor Kris Hansen of Havre says the bill would make the tax system fairer and eliminating tax credits makes sense.

“I don’t believe that the purpose of the tax code is to change behavior one way or the other. I think there is no possible way that we can fairly address everybody’s needs and wants in tax law.”

But opponents like Leo Berry, who represents retired public employees, say many taxpayers rely on credits like a partial exemption on income from pensions.

“I can guarantee you if you take that deduction line off for pension and annuities, people are going to notice that it’s gone.”

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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