Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tax Compliance for Out-of-Staters: A No-Brainer

By Molly Severtson
Interim Director
The Policy Institute

This morning The Policy Institute testified at the House Taxation Committee in support of House Bill 222 sponsored by Rep. Dick Barrett (D-Missoula). The bill would create the "Montana Real Estate Backup Withholding Act," which would help bring into tax compliance out-of-staters who sell property in Montana. Currently 36% of non-residents who should be paying this tax are paying it, while just 4% of Montanans who owe it are not compliant. The bottom line? There is no reason for the legislature to not pass this bill.

The Policy Institute believes that people who buy and sell land in Montana benefit from our social infrastructure and therefore have a responsibility to help maintain it.

With education, health and human services and other public service budgets being slashed this session, it would be irresponsible for the legislature to let this non-compliance by non-residents continue to happen.

UPDATE: A Billings Gazette story on the hearing.

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