Opinion

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Letter

How Will Tax Cuts Affect Montana’s Budget?

In 2016, Montana collected $1.38 for every $1 sent to Washington

Montana U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said recently of the tax cut: “Montanans’ hard-earned dollars belong in their pockets, not in Washington D.C.’s coffers.” There is some very basic math behind that viewpoint that should concern all Montanans. In 2016, Montana collected $1.38 for every $1 sent to Washington, and for the 2019 biennium state budget, 45.8 percent or $4.6 billion dollars is comprised of federal funds. If everyone keeps more money in their wallets instead of sending it to Washington, then what happens to Montana’s state budget? The fact is that when it comes to everything from roads, to schools, to health care, to drinking water, sewage treatment and many other services we tend to take for granted, Montana depends upon very large subsidies from the U.S. Treasury. Were it not for these subsidies, Montana would be a greasy spot on the prairie with bad roads, bad water, leaky sewers and some very poor farmers. Perhaps, these are some of the reasons why Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester voted no. So, thank you Senator Daines and Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for all your hard work to pass a tax cut that benefits the wealthy. Thanks to you, we are in deep trouble.

Michael Downey
Helena

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