Letter

Rigging the System for the Wealthiest Montanans

Young people in our community deserve a thorough education with robust extracurricular offerings

By Paul Dougherty

HB 279 steals from Montana taxpayers to fund private schools. Rather than receiving quality education in exchange for our tax dollars, the wealthiest among us and private corporations would see their tax credit for private school donations increase from $150 to $200,000 – a 133,333% increase! Ask yourself: do you have $200,000 to donate to a private school?

By rigging the system for the wealthiest Montanans, politicians in Helena are defunding public schools here in the Flathead. To make up for these tax breaks for the ultra-rich, the lost revenue would need to be made up either through raised property taxes on the rest of us or a loss of academic or athletic programs. We are fortunate to have great public schools here in the valley that provides a quality, well-rounded education for our community’s students.

Young people in our community deserve a thorough education with robust extracurricular offerings. Defunding public education robs our students of the building blocks needed for their future careers. It is time to put our kids before the billionaires. I encourage my fellow concerned citizens to contact their legislators and urge them to vote no on HB 279.

Paul Dougherty
Columbia Falls

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