TAXES ARE AN ISSUE, BUT GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND THE ECONOMY ARE THE PROBLEMS
Flathead Valley Republican legislators believe taxes should be fair and balanced. We will work to reform taxes to accomplish this end.
Protect Montana property owners by reforming residential property taxes:
In the 1999 session, Republican legislation reduced the taxable value to offset the increased appraisals and provided an additional 15% average statewide tax reduction. Since that time this reduction has been eroded by mill increases at the local level. Bill drafts have already been submitted by your Republican legislators to reform property tax in order to protect Montana homeowners from increased taxation. We believe that individual residential property taxes should not rise as a result of the high value real estate market and we will work to reduce residential property taxes.
Maintain flat tax on vehicles:
During the 1999 session, a Republican bill put an initiative on the ballot that was approved by the voters that greatly simplified and reduced by about 30% motor vehicle taxes for most Montanans. We believe there are additional adjustments to be made to this law such as simplifying licensure of trailers and campers.
Resist all efforts to bring back Montanas inheritance tax: Republican legislation lifted the burden of inheritances taxes on Montanans. We believe that the death of a family member should not trigger additional taxes on Montanan families, farms and small businesses.
Protect the business equipment tax reduction:
Montanas farmers, ranchers, and businesses pay a 3% tax each year on the equipment they use to make a profit. In 1999, a Republican sponsored bill cut this tax from 6% to 3% and exempted businesses from the tax that had $5,000 worth of equipment or less. The exempted amount of business equipment property ($5000) should be raised so that fewer small businesses would be required to pay the tax. Ninety six percent of Montana businesses have 10 or fewer employees. We believe that it is good tax policy to tax business profits rather than the equipment businesses use to make the profit and that economic recovery is driven by the profits made by these small businesses.
REPUBLICANS KNOW THAT THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT BUDGET DEFICIT IS A RESULT OF A DOWN TURN IN THE ECONOMY. PEOPLE HAVE LESS MONEY; THEREFORE THEY PAY LESS TAXES. EVERYONE, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT, MUST TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS UNTIL THE ECONOMY REBOUNDS.
DEMOCRATS BELIEVE THAT TAX CUTS CAUSED THE DEFICIT. IF TAX RATES ARE RAISED TO ERASE THE BUDGET DEFICIT, THEN WHO PAYS THE FULL COST OF THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN? WHEN THE ECONOMY REBOUNDS, THE HIGH TAX RATES WILL GENERATE A SURPLUS. WHO GETS THE SURPLUS AFTER THE BUDGET IS FUNDED? DEMOCRATS SPEND IT ON MORE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS.
REPUBLICANS RETURN IT TO THE TAXPAYERS VIA TAX CUTS.