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taxes

'Capitol Talk:' Socialism, A Sales Tax, And A Swipe At Gianforte

Feb 8, 2019

Sen. Daines equates Democrats to Venezuelan socialists; Lawmakers hear a massive sales tax bill; And House Democrats take a not-so-subtle dig at Montana's U.S. Rep.

Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels discuss these stories and more, right now on "Capitol Talk."

House Bill 300, introduced in the 2019 Montana Legislative session, called for a 2.5 percent sales tax and the elimination of certain property taxes.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A 2.5 percent sales tax and the elimination of certain property taxes is under consideration by the Montana Legislature.

It’s a proposal that could swing the source of billions of dollars in state revenue; create new regional commissions to recommend how public dollars are spent; and shift the burden of taxes across Montana.

The House chamber at the Montana Legislature.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Montana House narrowly approved a bill Monday to make it harder for state lawmakers to raise taxes.

The Republican majority advanced House Bill 148 despite a handful of their party joining Democrats in opposition.

Montana Capitol building.
William Marcus / MTPR

Montana may join 15 other states in making it more difficult to pass new or increased taxes.

A simple majority of the state Legislature can currently approve new taxes or fees. But House Bill 148 introduced Tuesday would raise that threshold to a two-thirds supermajority.

Tax calculator
iStock

A new regional Chamber of Commerce has formed in Eastern Montana just days before the 66th session of the Montana Legislature convenes.

Gavel.
(PD)

The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday struck down a 2015 state law allowing tax credits for donations to private religious schools.

The court’s 5-2 ruling voids the dollar-for-dollar tax credit, up to $150, which passed, largely along party lines, out of the 2015 Montana Legislature.

Montanas Against Tax Hikes' campaign to vote no on I-185.
Montanans Against Tax Hikes

Updated at 4:45 p.m.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The $26.1 million campaign over whether to keep Montana's Medicaid expansion program alive by hiking the state's tobacco taxes was the most expensive ballot issue in Montana since at least 2002, and likely in state history, according to reports. 

Grizzly statue and Main Hall on the University of Montana campus in Missoula.
Josh Burnham

Montana voters Tuesday passed the Six Mill Levy for the eighth time in the past 70 years.

The property tax provides about 10 percent of the state’s appropriation to higher education and helps support approximately 40,000 in-state students.

Anti-I-185 advertising has included a heavy presence at Montana convenience stores
Eric Whitney

Spending in the campaigns for and against I-185 has made it the most expensive ballot measure race in Montana history.

The ballot initiative to raise tobacco taxes and continue Medicaid expansion has drawn more than $17 million in spending from tobacco companies. Most has come from cigarette maker Altria, and it’s more than the company has ever spent on any proposed ballot measure nationwide. That’s according to records from the National Center for Money in Politics dating back to 2004.

A 'no on I-185'" sign at a Missoula gas station.
Josh Burnham / MTPR

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A tobacco company has dumped nearly $5 million more into the campaign to defeat a Montana ballot initiative in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election.

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