Montana Public Radio

taxes

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

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.

Nicky Ouellet

Governor Steve Bullock was in Whitefish Monday stumping for a ballot initiative to fund Medicaid expansion through increased tobacco taxes.

Sally Mauk: Welcome to 'Campaign Beat,' our weekly political analysis program. I'm Sally Mauk and I'm joined by University of Montana Political Science Professor Rob Saldin and veteran Capitol Reporter Chuck Johnson.

Montana U.S. House candidates Greg Gianforte and Kathleen Williams.
(Williams: Olga Kreimer/MTPR)

Wilderness Study Areas:

During the debate, Congressman Greg Gianforte pushed back at challenger Kathleen Williams’ accusation that he had introduced legislation, without public input, to release more than 700,000 acres lands classified as Wilderness Study Areas.

Dr. Pam Cutler, President of Western Montana Clinic, at Wednesday's rally in support of I-185.
Edward O'Brien / MTPR

Opponents of the ballot initiative to raise Montana’s tobacco tax dumped more than $3.5 million into their campaign in September - raising their spending total to more than $12 million.

Ads about I-185 from Montanans Against Tax Hikes and Healthy Montana.
Montana Public Radio


I-185, the state ballot measure that would raise tobacco taxes in order to continue Montana’s Medicaid expansion, has state lawmakers from both parties concerned. 

Governor Steve Bullock speaks at a Montana Association of Counties meeting in Missoula, September 19, 2018.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Governor Steve Bullock told county government leaders Wednesday that a ballot initiative to increase Montana’s tobacco tax is the right thing to do for basic health-related reasons.

On Wednesday, Bullock warned a Montana Association of Counties meeting in Missoula of dire consequences if voters don’t approve Initiative-185.


The latest fundraising reports show that opponents of the ballot initiative proposing increasing Montana’s tobacco tax boosted contributions by $7.7 million in August. That’s nearly eight times what the campaign supporting the ballot issue raised in the same period.

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