Missoula MT (KGVO-AM News) - With all the publicity recently over Montana’s property taxes, the state Republican Party wants to remind voters that GOP legislators have helped to pass bills that lower state income taxes.

KGVO News spoke to State Senator Becky Beard of Elliston about SB 121.

Senate Bill 121 Cut State Income Taxes from 6.5 to 5.9 Percent as of January 1

“We were able to really have a lot of success in this past legislative session,” began Senator Beard. “We have more than a billion dollars in income and property tax cuts based on what we were able to accomplish in that session, and one of the things that goes into effect, I guess it was yesterday, is my bill which is Senate Bill 121, which cut the income tax rate from 6.5 down to 5.9 percent.”

Beard dug deeper into the bill with more details.

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The Bill also Increases the Earned Income Tax Credit to 10 Percent

“It reduces the top personal income tax,” she said. “It also increases the state EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) from 3 percent of the federal to 10 percent here in Montana. So if we have folks who are paying income taxes but they meet the qualifications for lowered income levels, they can get a tax credit back if they file for income taxes.”

In addition to her bill, Beard is calling for the state legislature to be more frugal when it comes to spending Montanans’ hard-earned money.

Beard Calls on Legislature to 'Be More Frugal with State Tax Revenues'

“Senate Bill 121 saves Montanans $170 million every year,” she said. “In addition, we need to quit taking so much taxpayer money from the citizens and let them keep it. We need to be more fiscally frugal with how much we spend at the state government in appropriations and revenue. We have to have a balanced budget (via Montana’s Constitution) and with decreased taxes, and I hope we have decreased spending that goes along with it.”

Beard also said that Governor Greg Gianforte is expected to appoint members to his recently announced Property Tax Task Force later this month, which will include state Senate experts on tax policy.

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