A bill was recently introduced in the Montana statehouse that would have changed the treatment of golf courses in the state’s tax code by essentially doubling their commercial property tax rate.
On just a few days’ notice, Peaks & Prairies chapter members engaged, pulled together testimony, submitted letters to the House tax committee, attended the bill hearing in Helena, provided testimony in opposition to the bill, and made the industry’s position well known to legislators.
It was incredible to see the amount of engagement from our industry, including many superintendents, golf course owners, and managers, as well as non-industry partners including representatives from the food and beverage industry and an organization focusing on sensible tax policy in the state, all opposing the legislation.
After the hearing, we felt very optimistic that this legislation would be defeated thanks to our industry’s quick response and engagement, but the committee had yet to vote. However, the very next day, the tax committee reconvened and voted the bill down, 15-3. What a great result.
It is a great example of what we can achieve when we truly engage in advocacy.
It is also a great example of the type of policies being introduced across the country that could do real damage to the industry if they are not confronted and corrected.
A special thanks goes out to Dane Gamble for researching this issue and spearheading the effort.