By Freddy Monares/UM Legislative News Service
The state budget, he says, will dominate revenue debates.
“Leadership in both chambers and in the expenditure committees have indicated that’ll be a tough hill to climb,” Essmann said.
A tight budget has already strained legislators during the first week of the 65th legislative session, and whether to use tax increases to help balance the budget will be a big part of the debate.
Republican Rep. Jim O’ Hara from Fort Benton has this take on the debate: “I can tell you at the local level budgets are very tight, and as a taxpayer I’m aware that nobody wants their taxes to go up right now. It’s kind of a squeeze right now.”
The Senate Taxation Committee will get a draft of the 2017 Department of Revenue’s biennial report on Thursday.
Freddy Monares is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.