MBPC’s Statement on Signing of House Bill 391: Montana’s Earned Income Credit

Contact:          Heather O’Loughlin, 406-868-3438 (cell), holoughlin@montanabudget.org

The following is a statement from the Montana Budget and Policy Center in response to Governor Bullock’s signing of House Bill 391 – providing a Montana earned income tax credit.

“We are thrilled that the Governor signed the earned income tax credit (EITC) into law. For too long, our tax structure has disproportionately benefited the wealthiest, while leaving many of Montana’s working families struggling to make ends meet. Enacting a state earned income credit for working Montana families is an important step forward to making a tax system more fair and help 80,000 low- and moderate-income working families better make ends meet.”

“We appreciate hard work the Governor and Representative Tom Jacobson did to pass this important legislation with incredible bipartisan support. This targeted policy is the most effective anti-poverty program in history, lifting millions of children out of poverty. It is a program that incentivizes work and provides assistance (usually for 1-2 years) to working low-income families.”

Under Montana’s current tax system, lower-wage workers pay a higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes, compared to wealthy households. When factoring in all state and local taxes, as well as tax advantages often tailored to wealthy, those earning less than $54,000 a year pay 6.1% – 6.4% of their income in taxes, compared to the top 1% (those earning more than $435,000) pay only 4.7% of their income in taxes.

To learn more about how the EITC will work in Montana, please read our short report HB391 – The Montana Earned Income Credit: Helping Working Montana Families and our Economy.

The Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) is a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. Our core focus is publishing credible, timely, and easy-to-understand reports on the fiscal policies that most impact low and moderate income Montanans. Our research and analysis then informs public policy, the media and the broader public. To learn more about MBPC, visit our website www.montanabudget.org.