Telecoms, broadband providers await Bullock decision on tax-abatement bill for new fiber

Telecoms, broadband providers await Bullock decision on tax-abatement bill for new fiber


while the close of the legislature last week one bill touted by Republican leaders aims to address a critical shortage in Montana access to high-speed Internet and cell service in rural areas Senate bill 239 offers a lengthy property tax abatement to companies that install new a fiber-optic cable that bill now sits on governor Steve Bullock’s desk awaiting his signature MTS Mike Dennison has more on SB 239 Blackfoot told MTN news the incentive will help position Montana to take advantage of much faster wireless and cable networks for the next 20 to 30 years when it comes to access to high-speed internet or cell phone service Montana is one of the lowest serve states in the nation Ellsworth believes his bill can help change that status if you look at where we’re at today with only 50 percent being served we at some point have to make that decision what is going to be a big enough big enough incentive in speaking to the local telecoms this is a game changer for them and able to serve those communities but a fiscal analysis of the bill says it will cost the state’s Treasury’s $600,000 the next two years and more after that governor Bullock has said he’ll be taking a hard look at bills that cost the state Treasury money in looking at those bills or any other bills I’ll be looking at both the public policy implications and to ensure that we have enough money at the end opponents of the bill also say it’s an unnecessary tax break for some very well-heeled large corporations supporters of the bills here won’t really cost the state or local governments anything because it’s a tax abatement not a tax cut but we’ll find out soon what one very essential person thinks the governor reporting from Helena Mike Dennison MTN news the bill passed with some bipartisan support but a veto would likely kill it

Danny Hutson

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