On January 23, the first of many bills related to Montana's business equipment tax will make its way to a hearing at the legislature.

The Montana State Coordinator for the National Federation of Independent Business, Riley Johnson, says this is a topic of extreme interest for small businesses across the state. "We hope that what we can do is get all these bills out, go to a table and start negotiating about what's acceptable to what side," says Johnson. "I am confident that a bill for business equipment will come out of this session."

SB 96 sponsored by Rep. Bruce Tutvedt would change the tax percentage on class 8(agriculture, mining, e.t.c) and class 9 (electrical generation equipment, railway lines, e.t.c.) classifications.

Riley Johnson:

Some of the items on Johnson's agenda include convincing the legislature to drop the equipment tax rate permanently  from two percent to one-and-a-half percent and to exclude equipment under a 100,000 dollar threshold. Something Governor Bullock has also shown some support for. Finally, Johnson hopes that the current limit before equipment is taxed at 3% can be raised from $2 million to $3 million.