The Montana House of Representatives Taxation Committee conducted a hearing on Montana's hearing aid tax credit legislation (MT HB 299) on Monday, Jan. 26. Rep. Deborah Kottel (D-Great Falls) testified in support of the legislation as did Pat Fournier, BC-HIS, a Great Falls hearing aid dispenser and president of the Montana Hearing Society, an IHS chapter. One of Fournier's patients also testified in support of the bill as did a member of the audience. The bill must now be approved by the Taxation Committee and the Appropriations Committee before consideration by the full House.
HIA is supporting the efforts of Montana activists to enact hearing aid tax credit legislation at the state level. The Better Hearing Institute estimates that there are 106,000 people in Montana with hearing loss which is a small percent of the total hearing loss population in America. However, Montana is one of the very few states that does not face a serious budget shortfall which enables it more freedom to enact tax credit legislation this year. The Montana legislature meets for three months once every two years with this session ending around March 31. Contact Andy Bopp for more details.