Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.

Legislative Action Alert: January 14th, 2021

It is week two of the 2021 legislative session and bills are being introduced continuously.  Please contact your legislators and tell them why they should (or shouldn’t) vote for the bills on this action alert. It is imperative that they hear directly from their constituents! While our first efforts this year are focused on energy issues, we are continuing to watch for potential legislation that would be devastating to wildlife, habitat, and environment to our state. This week we have been working on these bills:

 

Senate Bill 85Generally revise taxation of renewable energy

Status:   Hearing held on 1/14/2021

Montana Audubon Position: Oppose

If passed, SB 85 would double in some instances and quadruple in other instances, the taxes on wind projects in Montana. This tax increase will make it less economically viable for wind developers to build projects in Montana. Montana knows that wind developers are eager to start development in the state, and Montana’s legislature should be making it easier, not more difficult for this emerging industry to flourish in the state. 

Action Needed:   Please click here to send an email to the committee and encourage them to VOTE NO on Senate Bill 85! Be sure to send a message to, Committee, scroll to (S) Taxation Committee, and select against SB 85. You can also include a personal message about the importance of clean energy in Montana and the state should not be making it more difficult for the emerging industry.

Or contact the committee directly: 

Hoven, Brian (R) ‑ Chair – (406) 761-8533, [email protected]

Hertz, Greg (R) ‑ Vice Chair – (406) 253-9505, [email protected]

Cohenour, Jill (D) ‑ Vice Chair – (406) 227-1144, [email protected]

Blasdel, Mark (R) – (406) 261-3269, [email protected]

McClafferty, Edie (D) – (406) 490-5873, [email protected]

Molnar, Brad (R) – (406) 794-5982, [email protected]

O’Brien, Shannon (D) – (406) 274-3805, [email protected]

Pomnichowski, JP (D) – (406) 587-7846, [email protected]

Tempel, Russ (R) – (406) 265-0990, [email protected]

Sales, Walt (R) – (406) 282-7435, [email protected]

Vance, Gordon (R) – (406) 587-8608, [email protected]

Secretary: Charlene Devine, Rm 323, 406-444‑1619 

Staff: Jaret Coles, Rm 124, 406-444‑4022

 

House Bill 17:  Allow alternative energy system tax credit to be refunded.

Status:  Hearing held on 1/7/2021

Montana Audubon Position:  Support

HB 17 amends the Alternative Energy System Tax Credit to make it refundable, rather than have it carry forward year-to-year. The Alternative Energy System Tax Credit (Tax Credit) has been successful in Montana with over 900 residents enrolled in the program, with those residents claiming over $500,000 in credits.  And those claimed credits have also resulted in $7.2 million in revenue for small businesses throughout the state. Further, the Tax Credit as it exists now only applies to Montanans who meet a certain tax liability, which unfortunately means that lower income residents cannot apply for the Tax Credit. By amending the language to make these Tax Credits refundable, those who rely on the Tax Credits have the option to refund their credit for immediate monetary benefits, and the tax liability criteria is eliminated. Therefore, lower income individuals in Montana will be able to enroll, support the expansion of alternative energy systems, and grow the success of an already successful program. 

Action Needed:  Please click here to send an email to the committee and encourage them to VOTE YES on House Bill 17! Be sure to send a message to, Committee, scroll to (H) Taxation Committee, and select HB 17. You can also include a personal message about the importance of clean energy and with this bill lower income individuals in Montana will be able to enroll in an already successful program to make it even more so.

Or contact the committee directly: 

Beard, Becky (R) ‑ Chair – (406) 492-6590, [email protected]

Welch, Tom (R) ‑ Vice Chair – (406) 683-4811, [email protected]

Fern, Dave (D) ‑ Vice Chair – (406) 212-0674, [email protected]

Abbott, Kim (D) – (406) 439-8721, 

Brewster, Larry (R) – (406) 670-0929, [email protected]

Buckley, Alice (D) – (406) 404-0891, [email protected]

Dunwell, Mary Ann (D) – (406) 461-5358, [email protected]

Fielder, Paul (R) – (406) 210-5943, [email protected]

Hinkle, Caleb (R) – (406) 585-0722, [email protected]

Kassmier, Joshua (R) – (406) 781-5386, [email protected]

Kerns, Scot (R) – (406) 351-0154, 

Knudsen, Rhonda (R) – (406) 489-5253, [email protected]

Malone, Marty (R) – (406) 223-1302, [email protected]

Marler, Marilyn (D) – (406) 544-7189, [email protected]

Mitchell, Braxton (R) – (406) 314-9474, [email protected]

Sheldon‑Galloway, Lola (R) – (406) 750-4721, [email protected]

Thane, Mark (D) – (406) 552-3957, [email protected]

Trebas, Jeremy (R) – (406) 899-5445, [email protected]

Clerk: Kathy Sangray, Rm 451, 406-444‑4467 

Staff: Megan Moore, Rm 111A, 406- 444‑4496

Montana Audubon depends on your financial support

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