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Montana Revenues Driven by Individual Income Tax, Possibly Increased in 2012 Because of Tax Uncertainty

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Montana Legislative Services Fiscal Analyst Stephanie Morrison has been studying the major sources of revenue for the state of Montana during the past fiscal year and says one source stood out significantly.

“We’ve been able to take a look at what happened last year in terms of general fund revenue,” Morrison said. “In Montana we have sort of top seven sources that we take a look at. The top source, by far, was individual income tax, and in 2013 it came in at just a skosh over fifty percent.”

The personal income tax brought over one billion, forty-eight million dollars into Montana state coffers. That total represents a dramatic seventeen percent jump from the prior year. Economists are still trying to figure out what happened, but there is one dominant theory.

“A big part of that may have been due to federal tax uncertainty at the end of calendar 2012,” Morrisson said. “There’s certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence of people, because of potentially increased capital gains rates on the federal level, realizing their capital gains in calender 2012 when they might not have otherwise done so.”

The second highest source of revenue was property tax which contributed about 12 percent of total revenues. Followed closely by corporation tax, which contributed about eight percent. All other streams of revenue contributed less than five percent each.

Stephanie Morrisson:

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