The Roundup -

Register Now for Economic Update

Monday, August 6, 3:30 p.m., Sidney Country Club


August 1, 2018 | View PDF

The Economic Update Series is expanding, with stops in Glasgow and Sidney being added this year! In keeping with one of the main objectives of Envision 2026 (the 10-year strategic plan of the Montana Chamber of Commerce), we’re focusing on Entrepreneurship this year. Join us for a new report on business start-ups in Big Sky Country and hear from a panel of entrepreneurs themselves. Register now to also learn more about local, state, and national economic projections for your area from Chief Economist Patrick Barkey of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Seminars last approximately one-and-a-half hours and include a meal.

For more information or to register visit for more information or to register.

The Trump tax cut is history – is Montana’s tax revenue malaise over, as well? by Patrick Barkey, Director, University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research

You might ask what one has to do with another. State tax revenue faltered in fiscal year 2017, which predated the changes in Federal individual and corporate income taxes by almost eight months. Yet the anticipation of those changes – especially by high-income individuals with the ability to shift their liabilities forward and backward in time – may have contributed to the softness in Montana’s income tax collections last fiscal year that seemed out of step with economic activity.

On the other hand – as economists are fond of saying – there is also plenty of evidence to suggest that the lethargic tax performance last fiscal year for Montana’s income tax was due to weakness in the economy, not just the shifting in timing of high income Montanans to take advantage of anticipated (at the time) tax cuts. The eastern third of the state’s fortunes, not to mention the Billings economy, had been hit hard by the softening of energy investment, and the agricultural economy’s woes are far from over.

With some better state revenue data now in the books, does this mean that the state economy has found a higher gear? There are plenty of things working in Montana’s favor these days, not the least of which is the federal tax cut itself. But as good as a few month’s tax collection may make state government feel, the turning point in the economy is a much harder call. Join us for this year’s mid-year Economic Update as we do our best to read the tea leaves to make the call on whether the 2018/19 year will finally be one where Montana gets back on the growth track again or not.


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