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Mont. Gov's business tax plan gets first hearing

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's proposal to lower or eliminate the business equipment tax for small businesses is getting its first legislative hearing.

The bill would propose taxing those businesses with $100,000 or more in equipment, up from the current threshold of $20,000.

The Democratic governor's office says the change would mean 11,000 small businesses in Montana would no longer pay the tax.

The Republicans who lead the Legislature would prefer to reduce the rate for all sizes of business.

House Bill 332 is sponsored by Rep. Mary McNally and will be heard for the first time before the House Taxation Committee Wednesday morning.