Proposed Increase in Montana Motor Vehicle Rental Tax is Defeated

Montana legislation that would have increased the state's motor vehicle rental tax from 4% to 6% has died after House Transportation Committee leadership heard concerns that TRALA had with the bill. HB 585 was pushed as a slight increase in the car rental tax, even though the existing tax applies to any vehicle under 22,000 pounds. 

TRALA, working through its allies in Montana, indicated to the Transportation Committee leadership that this proposed tax increase would increase costs for people in Montana who would be the least likely to be able to afford such an increase. As is often the case with car rental taxes, lawmakers and legislative drafters might intend to target passenger vehicles, but end up subjecting trucks to the tax based on existing definitions of "motor vehicle." TRALA pointed out to committee leadership that this tax increase would have affected many more stakeholders than simply out-of-state tourists who need to rent passenger cars for their vacations. Other parties who would have seen their costs increase are small businesses that use light duty rental trucks that weigh up to 22,000 pounds, as well as residents and even college students who need to move their own household possessions.
TRALA appreciates the leadership of Barry Stang, Executive Vice President of the Montana Motor Carriers Association in serving as an effective TRALA representative to the Montana legislature on this issue. To see a copy of HB 585, click here. For questions, contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at or by calling (703) 299-9120.