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Montana Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau endorse CI-105

(Helena) – Two of Montana’s most prominent employer groups have endorsed CI-105, an amendment to Montana’s Constitution that would prohibit new taxes on the sale or transfer of real property. The Montana Chamber of Commerce and the Montana Farm Bureau Federation join the dozens of other business and industry groups that make up the Coalition to Prevent Double Taxation, the primary ballot committee supporting CI-105.

“CI-105 is a pro-growth, pro-jobs proposal,” said Webb Brown, President/CEO of the Montana Chamber. “The last thing our economy can afford right now is a new tax, especially a new property tax.”

The Montana legislature has considered nine proposals to implement a Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT), a tax that’s applied when real property changes ownership. The proposed tax rate has been 1% of the property’s value, or a $1000 tax on a home sold for $100,000. Some advocates have suggested a tax rate as high as 4%. A RETT would be in addition to the property taxes Montanans already pay.

“A second tax on property would have far reaching effects,” Brown said. “It would hit homeowners, meaning fewer dollars for consumers to spend, and it would affect business property, adding yet another hurdle for already-struggling businesses to clear. CI-105 is a simple, straightforward proposal to prevent this tax from being imposed.”

Because a RETT could apply to property transferred by inheritance, the imposition of this new tax would have a significant impact on family farms and ranches.

“The Farm Bureau has always been opposed to new taxes that would make it harder to do business in Montana, and a new Real Estate Transfer Tax definitely fits that description,” said Jake Cummins, the Executive Vice President of the Montana Farm Bureau. “A transfer tax on ag property would be devastating to a family trying to pass their legacy on to the next generation.”

The Montana Coalition to Prevent Double Taxation is made up of groups representing homeowners, agriculture, business, and taxpayers. CI-105 will be on the November General Election ballot—a vote for CI-105 is a vote to prevent transfer taxes in Montana.

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