• The head of a visa-investor operation in South Dakota pleaded guilty to illegally diverting funds, giving another black eye to the scandal-plagued EB-5 immigration program.Watchdog.org reported on financial problems involving the South Dakota Regional Center three years ago, including bankruptcies and the auctioning of a $100 million slaughterhouse for $4.7 million.
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  • It’s not without its critics. The tax abatement program that Yellowstone County and the City of Billings use to incentivize business growth, expansion and recruitment is often viewed as a “free pass” for some businesses, but it is anything but that according to city and county officials.“It’s an incentive to succeed,” described County Commissioner Denis Pitman.
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  • The Montana Petroleum Association (MPA) testified in support of a bill recently to require full disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Last legislative session, MPA opposed a bill requiring full disclosure on the grounds that Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) could not adequately protect trade secrets if the bill became law. Montana’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects
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  • State lawmakers heard several hours of testimony on a proposal to establish public charter schools in Montana.The House Education Committee held its initial hearing on House Bill 376, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy of Box Elder.
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  • Just in time to provide fodder in support of increasing Montana’s gas tax, The National Transportation Research Group has released a report called TRIP that concludes that Montana will face an $874 million annual shortfall through 2021 in improving road, highway and bridge conditions, traffic safety and modernizing its transportation system.“While the state will be able to address some needed
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  • In reaction to President Trump’s executive orders directing the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers to rewrite the greenhouse gas regulations, the Waters of the U.S. rule, lift the moratorium on federal coal leasing, and repeal the Clean Power Plan, organizations across Montana have issued the following statements:
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  • Senate Bill 155 – the “seed bill” passed the Senate with a 33-17 vote. That’s good news for Montana’s farmers and ranchers.We’ve also been following Senate Bill 203, the animal confiscation bill. It passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after being amended. While the amendments did improve the bill, it still poses a threat to Montana’s livestock industry. It
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  • With federal tax reform efforts seeking to lower the 35 percent tax rate on corporations, it's also worth remembering that most states also impose taxes that can push business tax marginal rates above 40 percent. New analysis from Tax Foundation Policy Analyst Morgan Scarboro shows the corporate tax brackets and tax rates for these states and the District of Columbia.
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  • Why would Congress want to hurt small businesses, including those here in Montana, to help big banks on either coast amass huge profits? Some members of Congress are contemplating repealing reform of the debit-card business that brought competition to a murky industry long rigged in favor of the banks. That's bad news for small local businesses like mine - I manage
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