2018 General Election Q & A: House District 12

Republican Greg Hertz vs. Democrat Susan T. Evans

By Tristan Scott
Democrat Susan T. Evans, left, and Republican Greg Hertz.

1.  How do you intend to balance the state budget?

2. What taxes are you willing to increase, if any?

3. Are there any services you are willing to cut?

4. How do you plan to foster economic growth in the Flathead Valley?

5. What role should state government play in managing federal public lands, and how should those management activities be funded?

6. What are the most urgent issues facing your district?

Name: Greg Hertz

Age: 60

Occupation: President/owner Moodys Market Inc. which operates five grocery stores in Montana and one in Idaho.

Political Experience: Served in the Montana House 2013, 2015 and 2017

Political Affiliation: Republican

Place of Residence: Polson

1. The current general fund revenue outlook for the next several years is projected to cover projected general fund expenditures including inflation and present law adjustments. Should we need additional revenue, there are still savings that can be derived from reducing Helena-based general government spending.

2. Tax increases are not necessary to meet our current budget demands. During the 2017 legislative session Governor Bullock proposed or supported over $200 million in tax increases.  As a member of the House tax committee I was able to help defeat these increases.

3. Services should remain at current levels; however, there are savings that can be derived from finding efficiencies in services and fees paid all across state government.

4. I will continue to oppose higher taxes and government regulations that hinder economic growth. I will continue to push back on out of state special interests that want to further reduce our timber and mining industries and I will work with our manufacturing and high tech industries to help them keep and expand jobs in Montana. In addition we need to work with our education system in training employees for the demands of our employers.

5. Federal lands should remain in the ownership of the federal government. The management of these lands needs to include and give more authority to state and local governments who can make better decisions on land management than bureaucrats sitting in Washington D.C.

6. There are many issues facing my district but one of those that are having a severe impact on my community and the state of Montana is the drug abuse and related criminal activity. I will be working with law enforcement, department of corrections and the Attorney General’s office in supporting proven policies that will help our communities and those individuals with addiction problems.

Name: Susan T. Evans

Age: 69

Occupation: I am a former High School Teacher, and am currently a small business owner at Evans Engraving.

Political Experience: I have served on the Party Executive Board, and was a Committee Precinct Person. I have served on many local and Regional Boards for most of my adult life.

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Place of Residence: Polson

1. The previous legislatures have given tax breaks where unnecessary, which dramatically cut our State funding. I would reverse those loopholes, thus restoring previous State income sources. I believe that would also reduce the burden on most personal property taxes. The Medicaid Expansion also paid for itself with the 5000+ jobs created in hospitals and clinics statewide.

2. I don’t think that it’s necessary to increase taxes, if we restore previous avenues of taxation.

3. I feel strongly that we need to maintain services. The purpose of government is to provide for the “general well being” of our citizens.

4. Tourism is a major economic contributor to the Flathead Valley, and our clean water is vital to that. I think that we should keep up on maintenance of our roads, railroads and airport facilities, to allow easy travel. Any manufacturing businesses who would consider locating here will be influenced by the same need for ease of access, transportation of their goods, and available affordable housing.

5. This ties in to recreational value. We need adequate staffing of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, to keep federal lands accessible as well as protected from abuse.

6. I believe that the drug problems in our area are directly related to the lack of good job availability. People without hope for the future are more likely to turn to drugs as a relief valve. Since tourism is most often a part-time income source, I would research new ways to increase full-time opportunities. This ties in with fostering growth.

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