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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Controversial proposal that would cap property taxes appears to have failed

A proposed constitutional initiative that would have capped property taxes for residential owners has not garnered the signatures needed to appear on the November ballot, according to unofficial results from the Montana Secretary of State’s office.

The controversial proposal drew criticism from a broad coalition of opponents who worried about the financial impacts on local governments and the services they provide. Opponents also expressed concerns about business owners, who would have been exempt from the cap.

The proposal needed 60,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Unofficial results show roughly 5,000 valid signatures were obtained.

Matthew Montforton, a Bozeman attorney and former Republican lawmaker, spearheaded the effort to cap property taxes. In a statement, he said the state Legislature is “addicted to overtaxing homeowners” and that the problem is not going away.

Supporters of the proposal plan to circulate the initiative for reconsideration again next spring, Montforton said.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.