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Old 11-02-2007, 01:20 AM
 
Location: Lala Land Montana
83 posts, read 289,454 times
Reputation: 47

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Tell us what you think the problems facing Montana are, and how you would solve them. Remember that any decision you make will affect Montanans for the good and bad.
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:30 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
22,952 posts, read 22,531,772 times
Reputation: 15493
I think the first thing I would do is remove income tax and lower property taxes and write into the law that they couldn't be changed without a majority vote of the people. I then would institute a sales tax. That way tourists who use our services and tax our infrastructure would pay the freight as well as the people that live here.

I would look into setting up a second tier property tax system for non-resident land holders so they pay their fair share for the services they use.
I also think that it's time to start fighting back against the environmentalists that want to shut down all the forests and I would look at legislation that would allow the logging industry to survive. I would look at giving back the dam systems and power generators to the public that paid to build them in the beginning.
I would desolve all of the small school districts (fifedoms) and place them under the county superintendant thereby saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in duplicate jobs and re-allocate the money to teacher salaries so we can retain and attract good teachers.
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:42 PM
 
92 posts, read 352,354 times
Reputation: 40
I second Jimj. Don't forget that the County Superintendent would need to make more than the $10/hr that the average one in SE MT makes, considering they have to have at least a BS in Education, although they don't need to be making 150,000 to 200,000/year that some of the schools district superintendent's are making. I would also go one further and have a law saying that no one can use race or gender labels. (ultimate equality) This would mean that on all the forms that ask what your race is or gender is you could answer, Montanan. If you live here, pay taxes here, work here you're a Montanan.
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
1,154 posts, read 3,964,101 times
Reputation: 702
Montana has problems?

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Old 11-02-2007, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,656,449 times
Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
I think the first thing I would do is remove income tax and lower property taxes and write into the law that they couldn't be changed without a majority vote of the people. I then would institute a sales tax. That way tourists who use our services and tax our infrastructure would pay the freight as well as the people that live here.
What about tax incentives for businesses? I'm not familiar with the infrastructure of Montana, but the general feel I get on this forum is that the area lacks good jobs outside of tourism and construction.
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:15 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,846,113 times
Reputation: 2408
First, let me congratulate montanahogrider and the others participating for initiating a thread which focuses on solutions vs spewing divisive diatribes.
Second, I am not a Montanan. Therefore, I am not presumptuous enough to pretend I understand the historical background or complexity of problems facing Montana. However, I am in process of investing both financially and emotionally in the Mission Valley, AND AM INTERESTED IN LEARNING FROM YOU.

With those caveats permit me the following questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
I think the first thing I would do is remove income tax and lower property taxes and write into the law that they couldn't be changed without a majority vote of the people. I then would institute a sales tax. That way tourists who use our services and tax our infrastructure would pay the freight as well as the people that live here.
Does the revenue and expenditure macroeconomics support a balanced exchange of the income tax and lower property taxes for a sales tax?
In order to remain revenue neutral (no severe cuts to current services), wouldn't the sales tax rate have to be exorbitant? In addition, wouldn't this tax damage the locals who would pay it on products and services year round vs "tourists" who would pay it for a few days out of "vacation dollars"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimj View Post
I would look into setting up a second tier property tax system for non-resident land holders so they pay their fair share for the services they use.
Since I am a non-resident landholder, help me understand your rationale. The implication is that I now pay an "unfair" share. If this is based upon "the services they use", I would be paying a lower rate than a resident. I am not there most of the year. Therefore, I consume far LESS services than a resident, and my taxes in effect, subsidize schools, hospitals, roads for the residents. I don't really have any complaints about this, but if your proposal really bases a second tier tax system upon service consumption, it is confusing.

Again, thank you for starting a constructive discussion and for offering your proposals. I agree with a lot of what you are saying, and am trying to become more knowledgeable before contributing ideas.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:03 AM
 
5,006 posts, read 13,855,080 times
Reputation: 2422
The first thing I would do is get JoeJoe to run for office. He would really be good. And then he can find like minded persons to help him out. He doesn't seem to be taking us so seriously though, and if he did, he doesn't seem to be willing.
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Lala Land Montana
83 posts, read 289,454 times
Reputation: 47
Default state income tax? Hmmmm

You have some great ideas JimJ, If we were to lower the propert tax and insatute a sales tax we would have to cap it so that the politicions could not raise it every year as you and I both know they would. Also you would have to have deductions for business expenses or a sales tax would put so of the smaller farms and ranch people out of business. We have to buy seed, hay, implements, tractors, tack, the list goes on. But good Ideas for a start. Any others?
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Lala Land Montana
83 posts, read 289,454 times
Reputation: 47
Hmmm, reading my last post it seems like my computer had the stutters this morning, lol, or was it that fourth cup of joe? lol
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Old 11-03-2007, 08:05 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
22,952 posts, read 22,531,772 times
Reputation: 15493
GLS,
I do believe that their would be no reduction in services if we went to just a sales tax. Tourists come here year round in droves and would generate quite a bit of revenue. Sales tax is a choice tax because you "choose" to buy things. That being said you would probably tier grocery tax. It seems TN does pretty well with their system. The way our system now stands is the full time locals subsidize the tourist industry by paying for all infrastructure and services and this is not fair nor is it as big a revenue generator as a sales tax would be.

As for the tier tax for part time residents, you have to remember that income tax pays for quite a bit in this state so as a part time resident you are not contributing anything but property tax, the full time people are picking up part of the tab for a part timers ability to live here and that's not right.

I don't think that Montana is business friendly, quite the contrary actually. I don't understand the personal property tax for example. If a carpenter has tools he is taxed on the tools yearly, this is insane in my book. Now you have to understand, if he keeps them in his garage he is taxed, if he keeps them in a trailer in his yard he is not... This is the first place I've ever lived where you pay tax on a saw! How does this make sense? Also the regulations that most of these cities and the state place on business's don't seem to make it very hospitable or welcoming for someone to want to come here.
We here in the Flathead have a wonderful county superintendant and underperforming local superintendants. These fifedoms (yes, that's exactly what they have become) are counter productive and expensive. There are 0many school districts with only 1 or 2 schools that have a superintendant that gets $100k plus a year and a full support staff, buses and their support staff and a full school board and their expenses. This is a complete waste of money and just adds layers of crud when anyone tries to get anything done and fosters nepotisim. All this money could be going to pay for the things that really matter and this needs to change!
So, these are my thoughts......
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