Putting TRAC to Work
  News Organizations
Associated Press
September 24, 2015

Unexpected income taxes boost Montana rainy day fund
By Alison Noon

Montana has $90 million more than anticipated for emergencies or unforeseen costs thanks largely to an unexpected boost in income taxes, legislative analysts told lawmakers Thursday. That revenue, along with unspent emergency funds and lower-than-usual costs, put the state's reserves at about $455 million at the June 30 end of the 2015 fiscal year. Montana brought in $2.2 billion from July 2014 through June, according to a year-end report from the Legislative Fiscal Division. Additional revenue totaled $45.7 million, mostly from personal income taxes. "That's kind of exciting for Montana," said Stephanie Morrison, a senior fiscal analyst at the division. Income tax collection was about 3 percent, or $33.3 million, higher than anticipated. It appears that the unforeseen increase in individual income taxes is due to growth in the stock market, not higher-than-expected wages, Morrison said. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse recently ranked Montana's average per capita income the second-lowest in the nation. State officials had expected wages to increase by 6.2 percent in the 2015 fiscal year, but preliminary data suggests they grew by 4.2 percent, Morrison said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2015
TRAC TRAC at Work TRAC TRAC at Work News Organizations News Organizations