Montana Politics

Let’s Really Stick it to the Poor: A Sales Tax!

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Just when you think the GOP majority at the Montana Legislature can’t do more damage to working class and poor Montanans, they manage to go one step further. Today, House Majority Leader Tom McGillvray had a hearing on his proposed idea to eliminate income taxes and replace them with a regressive sales tax.

As you might imagine, the plan was full of thoughtful insight and planning:

McGillvray’s measure would repeal the state’s income tax but does not provide an exact plan for a sales tax. The bill asks for a study of how best to craft a tax plan.

The fiscal note on the bill shows just how carefully McGillvray has thought this idea through:

This bill would repeal the income tax after tax year (TY) 2013, require pass-through entities to pay corporation license tax beginning in TY 2014, and require the Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee to develop a sales tax bill to introduce in the 2013  session.  Since this bill does not enact a sales tax, no new revenue is estimated from a sales tax.  Eliminating the income tax would reduce general fund revenue by $418 million in
FY 2014 and by $768 million in FY 2015.

It’s Republican genius on display once again: eliminate the income tax and defund government, while proposing that a sales tax you haven’t studied be put in its place by a future Legislature, despite the idea being supported by 25% of Montanans.

Brilliant, just brilliant.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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