Gianforte's Tax Plan: the Math Doesn't Add Up For Montana's Middle Class

It's no surprise that observers are criticizing New Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte's tax plan for not adding up.

"Greg Gianforte's tax plan is dangerous for Montana because it wipes out our popular Rainy Day Fund in order to benefit millionaires and corporations at the expense of working families," said Jason Pitt, a spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.  "Working on behalf of millionaires may work in New Jersey, but in Montana we expect responsible leadership, not dangerous plans.  That's why Montanans stand with Steve Bullock and his powerful record of cutting taxes for small businesses and working families."

Here are questions still being asked of Gianforte's self-serving tax plan:

What is Gianforte's plan for income taxes for those who aren’t in the top tax bracket?

To answer this question, we can only go off what his spokesperson said: 

Great Falls Tribune: "He [Aaron Flint] said Gianforte’s proposed reduction of the income tax from 6.9 to 6 percent was based on a Senate Bill 171."

The facts are that SB171 would have raised taxes for 75,000 Montanans and married couples would likely have had to pay an "overall higher rate." 

Gianforte confirmed that he based his tax plan off a bill that actually raised taxes on thousands of middle-class Montanans while giving a huge tax break to millionaires like himself. 

How will he replace the $33 million cut to schools?

By eliminating the business equipment tax, which largely benefits out-of state corporations, Gianforte is cutting $66 million from local governments ($33m) and public schools ($33m). 

According to the Department of Revenue eliminating the business equipment tax "could trigger consequences in the budgets of not only the state, but for schools, fire districts, and cities across Montana."

How will he pay for the plan?

We still have no idea how Gianforte expects to pay for this plan, except for his previous comments that he would use Montana's rainy day fund. This would turn our budget surplus into a deficit. See the below graphic:

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