Here are some topics that caught my attention:
- Show Me The Money
- Tester Fundraiser
- Homeless in Montana
SHOW ME THE MONEY:
It’s all happening!
Earlier this month I wrote, “I like free stuff. Maybe it’s not free when it comes to tax rebates, but it sure feels free.”
One way to win votes is to give away free stuff or what voters think is free. It looks like the Republican supermajority in the state legislature is doing its best to win votes and influence people. The Montana Democrats are being drowned out by the Republican hype.
Montana Republican Governor Greg Gianforte and most of the Republicans in the state legislature held a big event on the steps of the Montana Capitol Monday (March 13). Gianforte formally signed a billion-dollar package of Republican tax cut bills. Altogether, Gianforte signed eight bills into law.
These events at the capitol are fun to watch – I remember when Governor Brian Schweitzer used a brand to veto bills in what seems like the very same spot as the event with Gianforte. Schweitzer was such a showman.
Here’s the beef about the money and this comes from the Montana Free Press (MTFP):
Individual taxpayers will be eligible for up to $1,250 in income tax rebates for their 2021 taxes and homeowners will be eligible for up to $1,000 in total property tax rebates for taxes paid in 2022 and 2023.
The governor’s office said Monday that the income tax rebates would be credited to taxpayers automatically and that details will be forthcoming from the state Department of Revenue about how homeowners should apply for the property tax rebates.
Lee Newspapers reported:
A series of spending bills will also use a large portion of the state’s surplus to issue one-time payments to residents equal to up to $1,250 in income tax liability and $1,000 in property tax liability.
MTN News reported:
One of the most notable bills, House Bill 192, sets aside $480 million of the surplus to provide income tax rebates – up to $1,250 for those filing individually and $2,500 for those filing jointly.
House Bill 222, sponsored by Rep. Tom Welch, R-Dillon, uses another $280 million to provide property tax rebates of up to $500 each of the next two years on Montana property owners’ primary residences.
I sure would like to receive a nice check in the mail or an electronic deposit, but I am not sure that will happen.
Is this a great state or what?
One of my fabulous readers commented about U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) holding a fundraiser in Palo Alto, California, Monday night.
Last night, the New York Post had a story about it on their website. Here is the opening graph:
“Montana Sen. Jon Tester will rub elbows Monday night at a ritzy fundraiser with a partner from Silicon Valley Bank’s legal firm — three days after the California bank suffered the second-largest financial collapse in US history.”
It was also reported that donors were asked to pay between $250 and $6,600 to attend.
Talk about bad timing.
This morning, Tester released a statement about Silicon Valley Bank & Signature Bank:
“I voted against bailing out Wall Street banks in 2008 and oppose any taxpayer bailouts for Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank now. We should be focusing on lowering costs for working people, not helping bank executives. I am in close contact with Treasury officials and will take on anyone in Washington to ensure that the executives at these banks and regulators are held accountable.”
You can read the complete report from the New York Post HERE.
HOMELESS IN MONTANA:
There’s one thing for sure and that is the Republicans in Montana do not seem to like homeless people.
According to the Daily Montanan, there was a debate in the State House about House Bill 380, which would allocate $2 million in matching funds to nonprofits working with the unhoused population in the state.
It was reported that State Rep. Tanner Smith, R-Lakeside, said he would like to see the million dollars spent on bus tickets, “because they’re not the ones we want to help.”
They are humans, Representative Smith. Try to show just a little compassion from your ivory tower.
Sadly, Smith and others who made comments against helping the homeless sound like some of the comments from Great Falls residents when a local church was trying to help the homeless.
As reported in the Daily Montanan we all remember the Flathead County Commissioners penning an open letter saying they were “unified in rejecting all things that empower the homeless lifestyle,” in response to rising numbers of unhoused people in Kalispell.
The lack of compassion from these officials is troubling, not to mention, embarrassing.
Read the complete story from the Daily Montanan HERE.
Funny thing is I lived here pretty much my entire life, yet I never realized that beating up kids was a traditional Montana value! And just look at the tough guys doing it. Very impressive. MAGA men!………or mini.
As far as the tax rebates go, it seems pretty simple. Key word seems. You should get back the lesser of what you actually paid in tax or a max of $500 (property) or $1250 (income) or $2500 for joint filers.
The income tax rebate is one time. The property tax rebate is two times for a total of max $1000. Just in time for the City of GF to gobble it all up with their proposed 60% increase for General Fund. Easy come easy go.
Property tax rebates won’t just show up in the mail – people will need to fill out some sort of application.
As for Rep. Tanner Smith’s very Christian bus ticket suggestion (the same as one of Commissioner Tryon’s greatest hits) – As long as he’s willing to accept incoming bus traffic from all the other cities and states, hey go for it. Places like San Francisco and Seattle and Denver and even Spokane have far more homeless to send to Montana than Montana has to send them. Plus the homeless might enjoy a perpetual bus tour of America visiting a new city every month on the taxpayer dime. And what homeless person from some dirty inner city would not love the fresh air, wide open spaces, and nice view of sparkling lake waters in a place like Lakeside.
Good points. Thanks, JmB
why bother teaching a hungry man to fish when you can give him an application for a $1000 dollar fish?
Substitute Montana for Idaho and it makes perfect sense here too. How to explain all these bizarre bills that seem to have come out of nowhere. “Easily duped” legislators willingly doing the bidding of national right wing organizations.