New Montana laws for 2018 include higher vehicle fees, apprentic - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

New Montana laws for 2018 include higher vehicle fees, apprenticeship tax credit

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HELENA - The start of the new year means drivers in Montana will be paying more to register their vehicles.

During last year’s state legislative session, lawmakers approved increased fees to help fund the Motor Vehicle Division. The changes came as part of a broader highway and transportation funding package.

Starting Jan. 1, MVD will add a 3% administrative charge to its current fees, including vehicle registration. That will amount to about $6 extra to register cars, pickups and other light vehicles that are four years old or newer. The fees are lower for older vehicles.

Overall, analysts expect the 3% charge to raise about $5.5 million in the next 18 months.

There will be an additional $825 registration fee on light vehicles worth $125,000 or more and an $800 fee on motorhomes worth $300,000 or more. That charge is expected to affect fewer than 1,000 vehicles statewide each year.

Also as of Jan. 1, Montana businesses will have access to a new $750 tax credit each time they hire a worker and then offer them on-the-job training through state apprenticeship programs. The credit will be doubled to $1,500 when the new employee is a veteran.

House Bill 308, which created the new tax credit, was among Gov. Steve Bullock’s top legislative priorities during the 2017 legislative session. Supporters say it will encourage small businesses to grow and help Montana workers, especially veterans, build valuable skills.

Altogether, about 20 bills signed into law after the 2017 legislative session took effect in whole or in part on Jan. 1.

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