When discussing the Montana tax policy with Dan Fuchs, our Daniel Zolnikov gave the minimum individual net annual income for the top bracket of 6.9%. And the figure just leaped out to me.

Ready for this?  $17,900.

I had to research this to make sure this is actually correct. The Department of Revenue) confirmed this.

And if people think or assume that the top bracket is for the “Rich,” then congratulations, the State of Montana thinks you are rich!

Are you feeling it?

Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Travis, you idiot! Of course I’m not rich!” For comparison and perspective, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty guideline for a household of one person is only $12,490 and for two persons is $16,910.  Only at three or more in a household is $17,900 considered impoverished.  So for the single person or married without children, $17,900 is considered rich by the State of Montana.  And of course, the guideline rises for the number of persons in the household.

Feeling better?

How do neighboring states compare?  Wyoming has no state income tax but a 4% sales tax with an additional 1-2% sales tax by county.  Idaho's top bracket for 6.925% starts at $11,279 for single filer and $22,558 for married filing jointly and head of household. North Dakota's top bracket for 2.9% starts at $424,950.  South Dakota has no state or local income taxes

For Montana residents, look on the bright side to help you feel better.  You are likely paying the same rate as the CEOs, doctors, lawyers and other professionals in the state. Perhaps in the tax code we are all treated equally.

Ready for more? Under this state perspective, when liberals and socialists talk about raising taxes on the Rich, does this mean they are talking about you?