Speaker of the House Says Montanans Should Get Two $500 Checks
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana’s Republican Speaker of the House Matt Regier appeared on the KGVO Talk Back show on Tuesday and answered questions from listeners about what’s happening in the Montana Legislature.
Regier said the emphasis is on tax relief for Montanans.
Lots of Talk about Tax Relief in the Montana House
“This week we're talking tax relief,” said Regier. That's first up on the agenda here for the House (of Representatives). We've got a debt-free bill. We're looking to drop the income tax rates. We're looking to exempt small businesses from the business equipment tax. We've got property tax refunds, we got income tax refunds, so it's kind of tax relief here for a couple of weeks in the Montana House.”
Regier said Montana taxpayers can look for a check in the mail with the Governor’s signature if the tax relief bill passes and is signed into law.
There will be Millions for Property and Income Tax Relief
“The property tax refund would be a $500 check to just Montana residents for the next two years,” he said. “It’s a one-time-only income tax refund really, I mean, the Montana income taxpayers really overpaid to operate state government the last couple of years and so we're going to give some of that back; we'd definitely like to give some of that back.”
Despite the rhetoric of massive refunds in the mail, Regier knows the funds behind the refund checks have to be sustainable.
“There's a big surplus,” he said. “We're going to be fine here for the next two years and we there's going to be money to give back there's going to be money to also take care of a lot of the state needs that are present and staring us right in the eyes. However, it's not the two years that I'm worried about. It's the four years out and the eight years out. So it brings up a great point. We need to make sure we thread that needle of a sustainable budget. We call it a ‘structural balanced budget’, that that has to be in the black moving forward and looking out further than just the two years. Look out after that four years and that eight years to make sure that we're not in a hole.”
Regier said He's not interested in Headlines; Just to do the Job
Regier was asked by a listener if the media posturing done by national politicians would creep into Montana politics.
“We're here for legislation, and this is what I keep telling people,” he said. “Here at the state level anyways that personalities don't go in the law books and then your title, Speaker of the House doesn't either. If you’re the chair of this committee that doesn't go into law books, it's just their ideas, the good ideas that get put into law books and take out the bad ones. So I know that personalities and all the drama can get involved and that's politics, but I try and look past all that and just go straight to what our job is here to do and that's to pass the best legislation for the people of Montana.”
Regier presides over the Montana House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a super majority.