And I’m sorry, but adding an extra cost to my restaurant meals, liquor, and rental cars is hurting me. Well, not the rental cars so much because I can barely afford my own car let alone someone else’s, but damn…booze?
The whole reason I’m talking about this is because of LC0599, which is a draft bill with the short title “Generally revise local option sales tax on tourism laws.”
What does this mean?
You’d have to ask Cliff Larsen that, for he’s the only one that has any idea, besides Mayor John Engen of Missoula perhaps, who I think is pushing for this.
You see, Engen is a money whore, and he desperately needs each additional dime of the working people’s money that he can get. Why?
- He likes to sue multi-billion dollar water companies;
- He likes to not pay his bills for 10 years;
- He likes to build parks for $42 million.
I could keep going, but I think you get the point – John Engen is a money-wasting machine. But Cliff Larsen? Gosh, I’ve met him a few times and thought he was a pretty good chap. Why is he trying to make my life more difficult?
In the 2009 Legislature the idea of letting larger cities choose a local option sales tax failed. The reason? Probably because we had a lot of Republicans in there that didn’t want it.
Democrats in this state have really gotten away from their conservative economic principles (at the same time many have conveniently gotten away from the land) and it’s cost us.
My grandpa never would have recognized some of the clowns we have calling themselves Democrats today, for all they want to do is tax, tax, tax. Can you imagine how that would have went over if he’d tried to campaign on that in the Rocky Boy Reservation? Unfortunately the GOP gerrymandered that out from under his ass in 1993 however, so he was done.
In the news piece, Engen says the tax would mean “millions of dollars a year to Missoula…and in turn this would eliminate the need to raise taxes.” And what items did he say would be taxed?
- Hotel Rooms;
- Taxes on Liquor by the Glass;
- Restaurant Meals.
Many businesses think the incentive to go out to eat will drop, and their sales will do so even more. Engen says we drop the tax burden from property owners and give it to tourists. I’m not so certain of that, but I will tell you, I have very few reasons to eat out now – I’ll have even less this spring, and I’m not alone in that. Is that what Cliff Larsen’s goal here is, to hurt our already fragile service-industry economy here?
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What’s exceedingly frustrating is how the Democratic Legislative team from Missoula gangs up with Engen to push terrible policies.
Chuck Larsen should know better than this, and I can only hope that he’s doing this as a gesture of goodwill, fully expecting it to be shot down in the legislature.
Will the voters support it, however, as we saw that neither the Democrat or the Republican could convince them of such when it came up for a vote in…1993 was it?
And since we’ve created an economic condition in this state where it’s exceedingly difficult if not impossible to own a home (mortgage debt accounts for 70% of Montanan’s debt), we know that more people will slip out of the American Dream as the Middle Class vanishes. When fewer subsistence workers (the bulk of our Montana population) do not pay property taxes, how do you convince them that enacting a tax upon themselves to help the richer classes in their best interests?
You don’t, you don’t and it’s that simple.
Both parties should be concerned on this, for the chances of enacting a sales tax decrease with each person that gets another part-time job in Montana. Since that’s all we create anymore here (Kohl’s in Missoula is hiring 100 part-time positions), you know property taxes will affect fewer and fewer each year. Add in the aging population and deaths taking many houses out of the tax base entirely for a short time, or long, and you’ve got a problem.
But as we’ve seen with Chuck Larsen here, there’s no attempt to solve that mess. If Montana truly is bleeding to death because we aren’t getting a varied enough tax income, then why are we only using the band-aid of a local options sales tax?
Because I guess that’s all they think they can get through, dulling our senses so some geographic areas say it’s not that bad, convincing others to go along. It’s a strategy, but not a very good one.
You’ve come to expect strategies like that from Democrats, however, because they have no long game. And that’s why they may damn well convince many of the true-blue and yellow dogs that the 6 bills they get this session were all they really wanted.
God, Montana, we need leaders, we need them bad.