State of Montana Archives: on Tax Reform


Mike Cooney: 2017 tax cuts favored multi-millionaires

Q: Support administration's $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?

Mike Cooney: No. Attacks Gianforte vote on the cuts. They "exploded the federal deficit by more than $2 trillion. Multi-millionaires like him got a tax cut. The rest of us got saddled with a check."

Greg Gianforte: Yes. Voted for the cuts and praised them for helping "hardworking Montanans keep more of what they earn."

Source: CampusElect survey on 2020 Montana Gubernatorial race Nov 3, 2020

Susan Good Geise: 2017 tax cut burdened us with huge deficit

The tax bill in 2017 blew a multi-billion dollar whole through our nation's pocketbook, and has resulted in a record trillion-plus dollar deficit, and by the way, that is a deficit that will burden countless generations of Americans and Montanans and added no real value to our nation and our state.
Source: News Talk KGVO on 2020 Montana Senate race Apr 28, 2020

Whitney Williams: Tax out of state residents with vacation property in Montana

Williams focused on tapping money from out-of-state residents who vacation in Montana or purchase properties here. "They are buying up big tracts of lands, they are locking it off and they are not paying their fair share," Williams said. "It is well past time that we say you are welcome in Montana but you are going to pave the roads that you drive on, you are going to pay for the schools that you're not sending your kids to and you are going to pay for the Main Streets you're not shopping at."
Source: Helena Independent-Record on 2020 Montana governor debate Feb 22, 2020

Greg Gianforte: 2002: state sales tax ok; 2016: no state sales tax

[Gubernatorial candidate Whitney] Williams also came out strongly against a sales tax, an issue that played a role in the 2016 governor's race when old audio from 2002 emerged of Gianforte presenting a tax advisory council possible solutions to create jobs in Montana that included the idea of a sales tax. However, Gianforte said in the 2016 campaign he would never support a sales tax. Montanans have voted against a sales tax twice before, and it's been seen as the third rail for political candidates.
Source: Helena Independent-Record on 2020 Montana Gubernatorial race Oct 3, 2019

Whitney Williams: Strongly against state sales tax

Williams also came out strongly against a sales tax, an issue that played a role in the 2016 governor's race when old audio from 2002 emerged of Rep. Greg Gianforte presenting a tax advisory council possible solutions to create jobs in Montana that included the idea of a sales tax. However, Gianforte said in the 2016 campaign he would never support a sales tax. Montanans have voted against a sales tax twice before, and it's been seen as the third rail in tax policy for political candidates.
Source: Helena Independent-Record on 2020 Montana Gubernatorial race Oct 3, 2019

Jon Tester: Trump tax cuts were a disastrous handout for jet-owners

Q: Support President Trump's tax cuts?

Matt Rosendale (R): Yes. "Bigger paychecks & more jobs for Montanans. This is your money & you should be deciding how to invest or spend it--not the government."

Jon Tester (D): "Disastrous." "Need reform for hardworking Montanans, not a handout for jet-owners paid for by our kids & grandkids."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Montana Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Matt Rosendale: Trump tax cuts mean more jobs for Montanans

Q: Support President Trump's tax cuts?

Matt Rosendale (R): Yes. "Bigger paychecks & more jobs for Montanans. This is your money & you should be deciding how to invest or spend it--not the government."

Jon Tester (D): "Disastrous." "Need reform for hardworking Montanans, not a handout for jet-owners paid for by our kids & grandkids."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Montana Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Jon Tester: GOP tax plan saddles future generations with more debt

Republican Senate challenger Matt Rosendale said he's seen reports that there are hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. because of the tax reform package. "That's one of the things that Jon Tester has voted against in opposition to the desires of the people of Montana," Rosendale said. Sen. Tester voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, calling it a "disastrous plan" in a statement last December.

"This tax scheme not only, it also raises taxes on Montana families in the long run, forces cuts to Medicare, and caps deductions that allow Montanans to keep more of their hard-earned money in their wallets," Tester said. "This all takes place while corporate tax cuts remain permanent, inflating the bank accounts of big business and leaving the folks who do the hard work with smaller paychecks."

Rosendale said Tester's vote against the bill was one of the reasons he is motivated to run for U.S. Senate.

Source: The Missoulian on 2018 Montana Senate race Aug 9, 2018

Tim Fox: Opposes applying out of state sales tax to Montana

Fox took action to fight sales tax expansion efforts to non-sales tax states Montana. In a brief filed in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Fox highlighted Montana's long history of opposing sales taxes. "Montana businesses shouldn't bear the burden of serving as deputized tax collectors for states and municipalities with an online sales tax," Fox said. "I'm standing up for Montana businesses and pushing back against efforts to force an online sales tax on Montana consumers."
Source: DOJMT.gov press release for 2020 Montana gubernatorial race Apr 4, 2018

Matt Rosendale: You deserve to keep more of your hard-earned money

TV ad voiceover: Matt Rosendale is the real deal.

[Photo on screen: Matt Rosendale]

[Text on-screen: Matt Rosendale shares our values]

Unlike Jon Tester he believes you deserve to keep more of your hard-earned money

[Text on screen: Matt Rosendale moves Trump's middle class agenda forward]

And unlike Tester.

[Newspaper headline on screen: Tester backs Iran deal; photo on screen: Iranian Ayatollah]

Matt believes it's wrong to hand overˇ$1.7 billion to the number one state sponsor of Terror

[Newspaper headline on screen: Iran deal: $1.7 billion to the #1 state sponsor of Terror]

Keep it real, Montana.

[Text on screen: keep it real Montana Matt Rosendale for US Senate]

Send Matt Rosendale to the US Senate

Restoration PAC is responsible for the content of this advertising

Source: OnTheIssues AdWatch on 2018 Montana Senate race Mar 23, 2018

Matt Rosendale: Get rid of tax on multimillion-dollar estates

Rosendale said he favors lowering federal income-tax rates for businesses and individuals, getting rid of the tax on multimillion-dollar estates, and Trump's agenda of peeling back regulations he says impedes business development and jobs.
Source: KPAX-8 Missoula on 2018 Montana Senate race Jul 31, 2017

Greg Gianforte: 406 Tax Relief plan: cut taxes & freeze government spending

Montana Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte has announced a tax proposal he dubs his "406 Tax Relief" plan, which he says will cut taxes and freeze government spending. Gianforte released his plan the final day for Americans to file state and federal tax forms.

Gianforte is seeking to phase out a business equipment tax over four years, hold state spending to current levels and reduce the maximum tax rate from 6.9% to 6%. Gianforte said, "I learned from over 30 years starting & growing businesses that sustainable jobs and opportunities are only created in the private sector, not by government programs. Streamlining regulations, lowering taxes and slowing the growth of government will energize our economy and help create more high wage jobs so we can stop exporting our kids."

Even before the Republican released his plan, the re-election campaign for Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock said the proposal would benefit the wealthy at the expense of middle class families.

Source: KFBB Fox News on 2016 Montana gubernatorial race Apr 18, 2016

Steve Bullock: Don't benefit the wealthy at the expense of middle class

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte announced his "406 Tax Relief" plan, which he says will cut taxes and freeze government spending. Even before the Republican released his plan, the re-election campaign for Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock said the proposal would benefit the wealthy at the expense of middle class families. The Bullock campaign released this statement:

"Greg Gianforte's self-serving tax plan is nothing more than a tax giveaway for millionaires like himself, at the expense of Montana's middle class families and our state's fiscal prudence. The fact is, under Steve's leadership, Montana is ranked the most fiscally prudent state in the country, he's balanced the budget while maintaining a rainy day fund, and cut taxes for thousands of small and medium sized businesses."

Source: KFBB Fox News on 2016 Montana gubernatorial race Apr 18, 2016

Brad Johnson: Montanans' hard earned dollars don't belong to government

We should always remember that Montanans' hard earned dollars don't belong to the government, they belong to the people who earned them. The central question in tax policy is how much of our money are we willing to let the government have, not, how much of our money will the government let us keep. Tax revenues collected by the state should never exceed the amount necessary to fund a fiscally responsible budget and cash reserve. When they do, the excess revenues should be given back to the taxpayers. For the government to look at these "tax surpluses" as a windfall to be spent as they please is simply not acceptable.
Source: 2016 Gubernatorial campaign website, BradForMontana.com Dec 10, 2015

Mark Perea: Replace IRS with flat income tax

Perea sides with Libertarians on taxation and would like to see the Internal Revenue Service abolished to reduce the federal government's power. He advocates a state-based collection of a flat income tax, with an exemption for the poor. "Then guess what, the federal government needs to stay in line or else the state can say you're violating the Constitution, you're violating our rights," Perea said. "Guess what, we're going to withhold our taxes until you straighten yourselves out."
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle on 2016 Montana gubernatorial race Feb 1, 2015

Sam Rankin: Simplify to three tax brackets: 12%, 22%, 28%

Source: 2014 Montana Senate campaign website, SamRankin.com Jul 27, 2014

John Edward Walsh: Tax cuts for the wealthy only seek to preserve privilege

Sen. John Walsh leveled his strongest attack yet against his likely challenger, Republican Steve Daines, calling Daines the purveyor of a "cruel ideology" that "only seeks to preserve privilege."

Walsh, speaking to the annual Democratic Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner in Helena Saturday evening, slammed Daines for votes to "privatize Medicare," cut tax rates for the wealthy, shut down the federal government last October and cut food stamps.

But Walsh saved his sharpest words for Daines, who national Republicans consider as one of their best chances to pick up a Democratic-held seat in the U.S. Senate.

He pointed to Daines' 2013 vote for the proposed House Republican budget, which would have converted Medicare to a system of subsidies to help the elderly buy private insurance or traditional Medicare, as well as reduced tax rates for the wealthy and most taxpayers.

Source: Ravalli Republic on 2014 Montana Senate race Mar 9, 2014

Steve Bullock: $400 personal rebate instead of $100M property tax cut

Let's never allow misinformation to be the motivation for missteps. I propose returning $100 million back to the pockets of Montana homeowners. Others have suggested we should use that $100 million and provide property tax cuts, instead. The difference between the tax rebate and tax cut is simple: who stands to benefit?

Giving $100 million back in the form of a tax rebate will return $400 to everyone with their primary residence in the state. If you take the $100 million and use it to cut property taxes, instead, the average Montana homeowner would receive just $44 this year, not $400. Think about that--it will take 10 years for the taxpayer to get as much money back as they'll get this year with the rebate.

Yet, if you are a company like PP&L, the proposed tax cut would reward you with over $1 million this year alone--23,000 times more than what the average homeowner would receive. If we consider who stands to benefit from our actions, the path we should take becomes clear.

Source: 2013 State of the State Address to Montana legislature Jan 30, 2013

Amanda Curtis: Increase income taxes on wealthy, but not others

Q: Indicate what state tax levels you support by general categories.

A: Slightly Increase income taxes for high-income families.

Source: Montana Legislative Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Champ Edmunds: Eliminate income taxes and corporate taxes

Source: Montana Legislative Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Dennis Rehberg: End the inheritance tax completely

[The debate] marked yet another tired back-and-forth on the estate tax, referred to by conservatives as the "death tax." Tester favors extending the Bush-era tax cut exemption for couples inheriting estates worth less than $10 million; Rehberg wants to deep-six the tax completely. The discussion between the candidates didn't, and never has, addressed the fact that, according to a study conducted by a trio of IRS researchers, only two to three percent of all deaths in the U.S. were subject to estate taxation even under the Clinton-era exemption of $1 million. In 1998, only 50,089 of the 103,892 people who filed estate tax returns actually paid any taxes. That's the type of fact we'd like to see dropped in a debate like this.
Source: Missoula News on 2012 Montana Senate debate Oct 22, 2012

Jon Tester: Extend Bush exemption for inheritance tax up to $10M

[The debate] marked yet another tired back-and-forth on the estate tax, referred to by conservatives as the "death tax." Tester favors extending the Bush-era tax cut exemption for couples inheriting estates worth less than $10 million; Rehberg wants to deep-six the tax completely. The discussion between the candidates didn't, and never has, addressed the fact that, according to a study conducted by a trio of IRS researchers, only two to three percent of all deaths in the U.S. were subject to estate taxation even under the Clinton-era exemption of $1 million. In 1998, only 50,089 of the 103,892 people who filed estate tax returns actually paid any taxes. That's the type of fact we'd like to see dropped in a debate like this.
Source: Missoula News on 2012 Montana Senate debate Oct 22, 2012

Dennis Rehberg: We need tax certainty ; make Bush tax cuts permanent

When asked about the so-called Bush tax cuts expiring on Jan. 1, a date that has been called "Taxmaggedon," Rehberg responded that he would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 permanent. He cited a need for tax certainty in the country.

Tester didn't address the tax increases directly, but did say that that "House and Senate need to come together with a major proposal that reduces our debt."

Source: Daily Inter Lake on 2012 Montana Senate debates Oct 14, 2012

Dennis Rehberg: Eliminate the death tax entirely

Asked about an inheritance tax being reinstated on Jan. 1, Tester said he favors having an exemption for the first $5 million in inheritance. Rehberg said he favors eliminating the "death tax" entirely.
Source: Daily Inter Lake on 2012 Montana Senate debates Oct 14, 2012

Jon Tester: Limit inheritance tax to estates over $5 million

Asked about an inheritance tax being reinstated on Jan. 1, Tester said he favors having an exemption for the first $5 million in inheritance. Rehberg said he favors eliminating the "death tax" entirely.
Source: Daily Inter Lake on 2012 Montana Senate debates Oct 14, 2012

Michael Lange: Permanently repeal the federal estate tax

Q: Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?

A: Yes.

Source: Montana Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Conrad Burns: Bush tax cuts actually more progressive Clinton tax hikes

We got to make the tax cuts permanent. Because if we do not, in the year 2011, your tax obligation to the fed govt will go up, on a family of four making $64,000, it will go up 58%. The new tax cut was more progressive than Mr. Clintonís tax increases. If you want to tax the rich-- thatís what they want to do, itís class warfare! Those folks making $184,000 or more a year pay 84% of the income taxes paid into the national treasury. Under Mr. Clinton, they paid 82%. So weíre actually more progressive.
Source: 2006 Montana 3-way Senate Debate at MSU Oct 9, 2006

Judy Martz: No tax increase without voter referendum

I want to be crystal clear. I promised the people of Montana that I would not support a tax increase. I will keep my word. If the people of Montana want tax increases, Iíll respect their decision made in voting booth -- but I will not sign a general tax increase. Period.

We must lower the top marginal tax rates that are bad for business. We must eliminate income taxes for the hardworking Montanans on the lowest rung of the economic ladder. The business equipment tax must be eliminated.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Montana Legislature Jan 25, 2001

Corey Stapleton: No flat tax; no super-majority; yes to sales tax

Q: Do you support a flat tax structure for state income taxes?

A: No.

Q: Would you support returning any operating surplus to Montana taxpayers?

A: Yes.

Q: Would you support placing any operating surplus into a "rainy day" fund?

A: No.

Q: Should the state reimburse local governments for revenues lost due to state-mandated property tax cuts?

A: No.

Q: Do you support giving cities and counties the ability to enact local sales taxes with voter approval?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring a two-thirds vote by lawmakers to approve any new or increased tax or fee?

A: No.

Q: Do you support implementing a state sales tax?

A: Yes.

Source: 2000 Montana State National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

John Bohlinger: Replace property taxes with a 4% retail sales tax

When elected to the State Senate, I will introduce legislation that will constitutionally eliminate taxes on one's dwelling place, not commercial properties. I will eliminate taxes on business equipment, in another bill and replace the lost revenue to State Government with a 4% retail sales tax--the sales tax bill will omit from taxation food items purchased in grocery stores and drugs.
Source: Montana Legislative 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Montana Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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