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NFIB/Montana State Director
Riley Johnson has been NFIB/Montana state director for more than 22 years. He feels that one of the biggest victories to date has been helping to reduce the business equipment tax to its current 3 percent from the 12 percent it was in 1991, and exempting from this tax small businesses with less than $20,000 in business equipment. Other achievements include lowering individual income taxes, instituting one-stop licensing for small business and maintaining the federal-state parity on the minimum wage in Montana.
He has owned and operated a small business for nearly 30 years and has been a lobbyist on Capitol Hill since 1965. Upon graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in journalism, Johnson worked with several large eastern daily newspapers before coming to Montana in 1963 to found a statewide weekly outdoor newspaper. He then worked in the Montana governor's office as an assistant and lobbyist for the Montana Highway Department. In 1971 he purchased a restaurant and launched his 30-year career as a small-business owner.
As NFIB/Montana state director, Johnson represents small business issues and views before an assortment of executive branch state agencies like the Department of Revenue, Department of Labor, State Workers' Compensation Fund, Department of Commerce and the many legislative interim committees that meet regularly during the off-session months. He also helps Montana members navigate the huge maze of state laws and regulations and seeks new or amended legislation to lighten the burden on small and independent business owners throughout the state.
"Small-business owners need to protect their rights as entrepreneurs and protect their businesses from over zealous lawmakers and government bureaucrats," Johnson said. "But the typical small-business owner doesn't have the time or treasure to actively pursue these goals personally. That is the job of NFIB/Montana, utilizing the strength and support of its 7,000 members. When NFIB talks, people listen."
491 South Park Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
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