Law to Cut Increases in Cabin Site Leases Blocked

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A state judge has temporarily blocked a law seeking to cut proposed increases in the cost of leasing cabin sites on state lands in northwestern Montana.

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order to stop Senate Bill 409 from taking effect. Lee Newspapers of Montana reports Sherlock wrote that the law does not meet the state’s obligation to obtain fair market value for the leased properties.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer let the bill become law without his signature because the 2011 Legislature passed it with a veto-proof margin.

However, Schweitzer says he and his natural resources director told lawmakers it would be thrown out in court.

The rates proposed by the state would have meant collecting $2.7 million from 800 leaseholders in 2013. The bill reduced that to $1.6 million.

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