December 27, 2016 Voices Of Montana

Taxpayers Can Now Prioritize Up To $300.00 For Our Montana Schools!

Chairman of the Montana finance committee, Llew Jones and Chief Legal adviser for the (in-coming) Auditors office Kris Hanson joined us on VOM and gave us some great information on how Montana’s now have new option’s for reducing their state income tax bill.

Llew Jones 2

Senate Bill 410, passed by the 2015 Legislature, established a tax credit for individuals wishing to contribute to K-12 public schools and K-12 private, non-parochial schools.

The bill calls for the program to be established in accordance with the Montana Constitution, which did prohibit the direct or indirect appropriations or payment from any public fund to any sectarian or religious purpose, But that too might change.

The Department of Revenue has adopted rules that manage the program and exclude church-affiliated schools from participation. But, According to Kris Hanson, “Big Sky Scholarships” was able to raise enough funds to give out 25 scholarships this year.”

Senate bill 410 requires “student scholarship organizations” (SSO’s) to administer the scholarship program and Big sky scholarships was formed and is a Montana based non-profit corporation in and for the state of Montana. For more information on that click right here

For those that would like to ensure more money goes to their local schools, Llew Jones explains. “My local area is the rural schools in rural region 11. The 7 large schools (AA) such as Billings and Great Falls are in their own pool thus taxpayers can select.”

Kris Hansen

Montana’s can always just write a check to the State of Montana for the whole amount of the bill and money collected by the State will be directed to all 56 counties, Or the taxpayer can now prioritize up to $300.00 to go directly to enhancing educational opportunities.

Llew Jones says :”Its my hope that numerous taxpayers take the deduction and choose to self-direct their dollars towards educating our youth” Ask your accountant about prioritizing education!

You can donate any amount of money you wish but if you donate more than $150 you will receive only a tax credit for the $150. There is  an aggregate cap of 3 million dollars but you can still donate after that and according to Kris, “Don’t worry, we are nowhere near that amount”

The donations must be made by December 31st to qualify and remember, taxpayer can choose to support just the public side or the private side or both. Get all the information on how taxpayers can prioritize up to $300.00 towards enhancing Montana schools right here.