Montana - Economy

Economy

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Montana's total state product in 2003 was $26 billion. Per capita personal income in 2003 was $25,406, 47th in the nation. However, this number is rapidly increasing.

Agriculture is a major employer in Montana. Approximately 66% of the total land are dedicated to farmland or agriculture. In 2009, all field crops harvested in the state of Montana were valued at 1.8 billion US dollars. Montana ranked second nationally, in 2007, for the production of lentils, dry peas and barley. The same year, the state ranked third for total wheat production. Montana’s most valuable crop is wheat, followed by hay, and then barley. Montana ranked second in 2009, nationally, for the production of safflower and third for canola. On January 1, 2009 there were 2,550,000 head of cattle and calves and 255,000 head of sheep and lambs. Montana raises lots of sheep and goats on its rangeland. The state ranks 10th nationally for sheep and goat production and their products, like wool.

Montana is a relative hub of beer microbrewing, ranking second in the nation in number of craft breweries per capita. There are significant industries for lumber and mineral extraction; the state's resources include gold, coal, silver, talc, and vermiculite. Ecotaxes on resource extraction are numerous. A 1974 state severance tax on coal (which varied from 20 to 30 percent) was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Montana, 453 U.S. 609 (1981).

Tourism is also important to the economy with millions of visitors a year to Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, the Missouri River headwaters, the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

Montana's personal income tax contains 7 brackets, with rates ranging from 1% to 6.9%. Montana has no sales tax. In Montana, household goods are exempt from property taxes. However, property taxes are assessed on livestock, farm machinery, heavy equipment, automobiles, trucks, and business equipment. The amount of property tax owed is not determined solely by the property's value. The property's value is multiplied by a tax rate, set by the Montana Legislature, to determine its taxable value. The taxable value is then multiplied by the mill levy established by various taxing jurisdictions—city and county government, school districts and others.

As of June 2012, the state's unemployment rate is 6.3%.

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Famous quotes containing the word economy:

    I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical terms.
    Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933)

    Quidquid luce fuit tenebris agit: but also the other way around. What we experience in dreams, so long as we experience it frequently, is in the end just as much a part of the total economy of our soul as anything we “really” experience: because of it we are richer or poorer, are sensitive to one need more or less, and are eventually guided a little by our dream-habits in broad daylight and even in the most cheerful moments occupying our waking spirit.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    Unaware of the absurdity of it, we introduce our own petty household rules into the economy of the universe for which the life of generations, peoples, of entire planets, has no importance in relation to the general development.
    Alexander Herzen (1812–1870)