Budget analysts working on better way to estimate revenue

HELENA (AP) — The budget analysis arm of the Montana Legislature is working on a more accurate way to estimate state tax revenues after a special session was held to address a projected $227 million shortfall compared to the revenue projections lawmakers worked with this spring.

Members of the Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee agreed Monday that the Legislature should study the state’s overall tax structure, but acknowledged that wouldn’t happen before the 2019 session. The Legislative Finance Committee is looking at such a study, and the revenue committee wants to insure its involvement since it would develop tax legislation.

Revenue Director Mike Kadas said lawmakers meeting in 2019 could see less revenue because the tax bill passed by the U.S. Senate early Saturday could cost the state about $122 million a year.

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