Gov Boosts Spending, Lowers Taxes

Aaron Flint posted on November 15, 2010 14:50 :: 1273 Views

“Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Monday proposed a two-year, $3.7 billion general fund state budget that would boost school and university funding, while cutting property taxes for homeowners and eliminating business equipment taxes for all but the largest companies,” as Chuck Johnson reports in The Missoulian.

Johnson added this:

Schweitzer is estimating that state general fund tax collections for fiscal 2012 and 2013 would be $1.747 billion and $1.846 billion, respectively.

That’s about $28 million more than what the Legislative Fiscal Division is recommending for the same two-year period, said Terry Johnson, the Legislature’s chief revenue estimator.

The Montana Watchdog gets reaction from Republican legislative leaders:

Senate Majority Leader Jim Peterson, R-Buffalo, sat through the governor’s budget news conference and said he had questions.
He said according to figures provided, the state was spending more than it was taking in and $100 million in General Fund transfers were proposed.

This General Fund balance is 2.37 percent higher than the 2011 biennium budget of $3.2 billion, officials said. According to the state budget office, in FY 2011, $8.1 billion was appropriated for the total budget, which includes the General Fund, state special funds and federal funds. For the 2013 biennium budget, $8.9 billion will be appropriated, or a 9.5 percent increase.

 For video, KRTV in Great Falls has this:


Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) presented his budget proposal ahead of the upcoming legislative session in Montana. 

More to follow later, but here are some audio highlights from this afternoon’s press conference:

1. Gov Schweitzer on proposed cut to the business equipment tax:

Click to Listen

2. Gov Schweitzer on proposed raise for state employees:

Click to Listen

3. Gov Schweitzer says budget will be balanced with 3rd largest ending fund balance in state history:

Click to Listen

4. Gov Schweitzer says state cut taxes while politicians in Washington, DC are saying we shouldn’t raise taxes during a recession. 

Click to Listen

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