Montana Needs Tax Reform
Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2890) 11 months ago
Heather O'Laughlin, Co-Director, of the Montana Budget and Policy Center, wrote this opinion published in the Billings Gazette, March 14, 2018:

"Since the start of the regular 2017 session, the legislature has cut nearly $100 million from health and human services. State general fund reductions to health and human services trigger a loss of federal funds. When totaling up all funds, we estimate that Montana families have lost more than $200 million in health services.

Nonprofit organizations across the state have announced layoffs and the reduction or elimination of services. These are the groups that help abused children, at-risk moms and people with disabilities. To keep going, many organizations are turning to their communities for donations. In the worst-case scenarios, some are simply shutting their doors. Story upon story paints a picture of families grappling with how to access the help they once had and need.

The long-term results of these cuts will ripple throughout our broader economy. When jobs are eliminated, people spend less, which hurts businesses. Productivity suffers when workers have to take time off to care for family who lost services. When people are forced to operate with uncertainty around their health, their job or their family’s welfare, they pull back from their involvement in schools, volunteering and community activities. When those suffering with mental health or addiction disorders don’t have services, they often end up in crisis, putting pressure on emergency rooms, firefighters and police officers. Children can end up in foster care, which costs the state additional resources for child and family services.

Read the rest of her article at:

http://billingsgazette.co...fd6b8.html
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Posted by The man from snowy plains (-241) 11 months ago
What cabbage truck did you fall of MCD. Your liberal view on oh lets just say energy jobs in Montana, or logging or use of federal lands. For as long as I can REMEMBER Western Montana voters rule this state. Bullock is the problem and he actually thinks he has a presidential chance.
But heh, lets just keep attacking all of our natural resources, mineral resources with organizations like the Sierra Club.
Sin tax items, Tobacco, Alcohol, Gambling. It doesn't take a genius too drive around Miles City to see the cash cow here is Casino.
But heh, sales tax, property tax, Toll roads.
Oh...maybe tax cow farts.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12600) 11 months ago
Time to interject some much needed moderate viewpoints here.

Mary Catherine, the Oped you quoted was about tax revenue, not tax reform. However, since you brought up the subject, I agree that Montana needs tax reform. Specifically, sales tax needs to be added to complete the thrre-pronged tier of taxing income and property. The Democrats need to give up on their opposition to sales tax.

Snowy, you are so stupid it is not even worthwhile to debate you on the Trump moran vision of Montana taxation. Maybe another conservative would step to the plate? Please? Pretty please?
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+2744) 11 months ago
Gunnar, about the Sales Tax, I do think the day has arrived. Our old Real Estate has pretty well maxed out IMO. Something curious is that items we can purchase at WalMart here for "X" amount of dollars without sales tax, costs the exact same in Parker, CO with all of their taxes included. A little test when we visit kids☺

MCD, Thanks for the article. Not sure how things are going to work for so many.
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Posted by Hanson (+553) 11 months ago
Gunnar Emilsson wrote:

“Sales tax needs to be added to complete the thrre-pronged [sic] tier of taxing income and property.”

I don’t care how you sales tax proponents spin your regressive tax approach, a sales tax is just that, regressive. Every time the Republican legislatures cut taxes on out-of-state corporations and the rich, short-sighted people living on adequate incomes and some with good retirement plans, are chummed in and take the bait. You should not forget the thousands of Montanans just barely able to feed themselves and cover their prescriptions. I have a few clients in this category, widows and disabled just getting by on less than $1000 a month. The only way to get at these less than fortunate citizens is to tax their purchase of necessities, including, but not limited to, food, drugs and clothing.

Some bemoan renters, who don’t own real estate, not paying their fair share. That is not true, when real estate taxes go up, rent goes up.

I’ve been watching and listening to reasonable people, over the years, kid themselves that somehow the sales tax they’re envisioning will not be regressive. A sales tax cannot be fashioned, in any manner, that is not regressive. Assume two people are purchasing the same $20 item and they both pay the same tax at 8% so that it costs $21.60. It is a regressive tax if the purchaser with the lower income will be spending every dime of income to barely survive while the upper income person will have residual income going into investments, savings or luxuries.

Who came up with the proposition that a sales tax is needed to complete some fantasy three-pronged tier of taxing income and property? You can bet that person has an income that allows for savings, investments and luxuries.
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