Governor’s Budget Includes New Taxes on Wealthy, Marijuana

Budget plan would increase spending by 1.4 percent over two years while recouping flagging revenues

By MATT VOLZ, Associated Press
Gov. Steve Bullock. Beacon File Photo

HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is proposing a budget that would increase spending by 1.4 percent over two years and look to bolster flagging revenues by taxing medical marijuana and raising taxes on the rich.

The two-year budget plan released Tuesday also seeks to build Montana’s rainy day fund back to $300 million.

The Democratic governor’s plan would cut state spending by nearly $8.8 million the first year, then increasing it $44 million the second, a reflection of lower-than-expected revenues from tax collections.

The proposal also calls for a new 6 percent tax on medical marijuana.

People would be taxed at a 7.9 percent rate instead of 6.9 percent for income over $500,000 a year.

Bullock is proposing to spend $292 million on infrastructure, $157 million of which would come from bonds.

Lawmakers take up the proposal in January.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.