Lawmaker seeks sales tax to replace property taxes

HELENA (AP) — A Montana lawmaker is proposing to eliminate some property taxes and replace them with a 2.5 percent statewide sales tax.

Republican Rep. Kerry White of Bozeman outlined his bill Wednesday before the House Taxation Committee.

White wants to end state property taxes for residents, agricultural lands and timber lands, which he says generates $1.26 billion a year.

He says a sales tax would bring in $1.6 billion. State officials are still working on a fiscal note that would estimate the costs and revenue generated by the proposal.

Opponents of the measure say a sales tax would disproportionately affect low-income residents and make the state’s tax system more regressive.

Montana is one of five states without a statewide sales tax. The committee did not take immediate action on the bill.

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