The Montana Taxpayers Association issued a press release that stated the fiscal year 2021 collected a record general fund surplus of over $400 million.

KGVO reached out to State Senator in District 6 in Polson, Greg Hertz who sits on the tax committee for details on the report.

“About a week ago the Legislative Finance Committee and the Revenue Committee, I sit on the revenue committee, we did get an update,” said Hertz. “Right now our ending fund balance as of June 30, that's our year end, far exceeded our expectations. It's sitting at about $720 million right now. That's about $450 million more than we had anticipated.”

Hertz said the record numbers are coming from income tax collections.

“The majority of that money is coming from record individual income tax collections, and also an all time record for corporate income tax collections,” he said. “We're seeing this all across the country in most states, and in fact, the federal government, I believe, had a record high as well on their income tax collections.”

KGVO asked if any of that money came from federal COVID payments. Hertz said not directly.

“The federal government, you know, sent a lot of money to Montana during 2020 and 2021 to help individuals who are impacted by COVID,” he said. “And so if you got some extra money either for your business, or individuals who got the COVID relief payments, they went down and spent that money, and once they spent that money that started turning around our economy and provided increased tax revenues for the state of Montana.”

Hertz answered the obvious question, if any of that money can be returned to the individual taxpayers.

“We'd like to give this money back to the people,” said Hertz. “I mean, it looks like we collected more revenue than we actually needed, so there are a number of ways that you could go about it. You could give a one time rebate to everybody. You could lower tax rates. There are a lot of different options out there and a lot of opinions as to the direction that we could go.”

Get more details about the Montana Taxpayers Association here.

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