Schweitzer Says Rebates Increased

By Beacon Staff

HELENA (AP) – Homeowners will get an extra tax credit of about $140 on 2007 taxes, thanks to state revenues that have exceeded estimates, Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Friday.

Schweitzer said the rebate will be in addition to the scheduled $400 homeowner credit for 2006 taxes, which people can begin applying for this fall.

The tax credits were a big priority for the governor during the 2007 Legislature, and were widely opposed by Republicans who preferred cuts to tax rates rather than rebates.

The House bill that included the $400 rebate for 2006 taxes also included a 2007 tax credit for any revenue in excess of $1.8 billion received for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The state collected $76 million in revenue above the trigger, releasing money for the tax credit and for schools.

Roughly $36 million of the extra money will be used for the new homeowner tax credits, $30 million will go toward schools for maintenance backlogs and building and equipment improvements. Another $10 million will be put into the state’s general fund.

The scheduled $400 credit is a rebate on 2006 taxes for Montana homeowners. Corporations and nonresidents are excluded.

The $140 rebate will go toward 2007 taxes paid. The governor’s office estimated 259,000 homeowners will be eligible for the tax credit, which they will have to apply for.

“Montana’s on the move. This additional money will go back into the pocketbooks of Montanans and be spent on the main streets of our communities,” Schweitzer said in a statement. “This additional revenue is further evidence that Montana’s economy is thriving.”

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