The biennial Montana Legislature has finally ended but not without some very creative bookkeeping.

We, the taxpayers, had been told that the legislature was going to work hard to reduce our property taxes. They had a plan.

We shouldn’t have gotten our hopes up so high. Not only will property taxes not be reduced, they are more than likely to go up.

The bean counters decided that they could balance the budget by cutting school funding thus forcing an increase in property taxes charged at the local level.

Yes, let’s make the local guys the bad guys. After all we balanced the Montana budget.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

The Montana Legislature meets every two years. This tax increase will be spread over four years supposedly reducing what taxpayers are charged every year.

But the legislature will be back in session in just two years.

Anyone want to take a wild guess what will happen to property taxes then? Can you say extension? It worked once, let’s try it again.

And since schools have to be funded as a condition of state law your property taxes will increase without a vote.

Prosperity is Just Around The Corner

Legislatively thinking we will have a short amount of pain then it will be so much better down the road.

Each year the state will pick up a little more of the burden of school expenses.

How often have we heard the “down the road” metaphor? Do you like your doctor? Do you like your healthcare plan?

What’s a couple more lattés or pizzas in your budget? You’d have just blown that money someplace else.

Besides — it’s for the children.

Some Final Thoughts

I appreciate that the legislature wants to make some cuts and not increase taxes, but a tax increase is a tax increase no matter who puts their stamp of approval on it.

While the government has many pockets asking for our money, it only comes out of one pocket on our end.

Don’t worry. In two years we’ll have forgotten all about this little increase. Then our lattés will be diverted to another savings plan that costs us.

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