MTPR

Montana Department of Revenue

Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ Dam, formerly Kerr Dam
Bill Barrett (CC-BY-SA-3)


Death and taxes are supposedly two certainties in life. But at the moment, in Lake County, property taxes aren’t so certain.

 

The county is suing the state Department of Revenue over one property -- the Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ (say-LISH kuh-ZAHN-kuh kud-LEE-speh) Dam, formerly known as the Kerr Dam, which the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes bought from NorthWestern Energy last year.

 

The sale was negotiated in 1985 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 

Rene Whalen grabs what she can of her important papers and photos while evacuating the home she's lived in for 20 years. Hundreds of homes are under evacuation due to the Roaring Lion Fire.
Mike Albans

The Montana Department of Revenue is reaching out to Bitterroot Valley residents who lost their homes this week to wildfire. The nearly 8,000 acre Roaring Lion fire has consumed at least 14 homes and other outbuildings.

As of Tuesday, it's tax season. And this year, it may take a little longer than in the past for taxpayers to get their refunds.

Taylor Swift, Amy Martin tells us, is like coal buried beneath Montana.
Flickr User Larry Darling (CC-BY-NC-2)

Accounting is not sexy. So let’s start with two people who are — Ryan Adams and Taylor Swift.

This fall, Ryan Adams released an entire album of Taylor Swift songs. He called it 1989 – just like she did. In exchange for using Swift’s property — her songs — Adams has to pay her a portion of whatever money he makes from selling that recording. That’s known as a “royalty.”

Praying with a rosary
(PD)

This week, three parents from a Christian school in Kalispell filed a suit over the state’s exclusion of religious schools in a program to provide scholarships for public and private education.

Kendra Espinoza is one of the plaintiffs in the case. She says scholarships are the only reason why she can afford to send her kids to the private religious school she chooses.

Sen. Llew Jones (R) SD9
Montana Legislature

The State Department of revenue heard over an hour of testimony today over its controversial proposed new rule. It says a new tax credit scholarship program cannot be used to benefit religious-affiliated schools. 

Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Montana’s Department of Revenue caused a furor when it said people who donate to private religious schools don’t qualify for new tax credits created by this year’s legislature. Representative Mary Anne Dunwell, a Helena Democrat, agrees:

The state Revenue Department has intercepted 529 fraudulent returns totaling almost $583,000 since tax season opened January 20.

Department spokeswoman, Molly Peterson, says most of the phony returns are the result of identity theft.

"For example, when a large corporation has its credit card information stolen from all of its customers, tax fraudsters can take that information and use it to file fraudulent tax returns."

Peterson says it's tough to find and prosecute tax return scammers because they're so good at covering their tracks.

Dept. Of Revenue: Business Equipment Tax Cuts Will Increase Local Taxes

Jan 28, 2015
Montana Legislature

Legislators are grappling over whether a proposal to further reduce Montana’s business equipment tax is a tax cut or a tax shift.

For proponents, the issue is clear. This tax on items like combines or welding equipment is punitive and stifles growth.

Tax Cuts Up For Debate At The Capitol

Jan 20, 2015
Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana lawmakers are considering whether to approve a one-time only tax cut or a slight reduction across all income tax brackets.

The two tax bills were heard Monday before the House Taxation Committee. From Helena, Yellowstone Public Radio’s Jackie Yamanaka has more.

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