Recently my wife and I received the Montana income tax rebate. While many may consider this a great thing, I do not. When the facts demonstrate that our public schools are underfunded and our cities and counties are not adequately funded, it demonstrates the State has failed to live up to its constitutional obligations. It is a fact that when the State fulfills its obligation to schools, cities, and counties local mill levies are reduced.
What is sorely disturbing is the fact that the Montana State Hospital, which serves the most vulnerable members of our society, struggles because of the lack of funding. Yet, at the same time, money was readily available to add an addition to the state prison.
The late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was wounded in the Civil War and later became Governor of Massachusetts and finally a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, once mused that he was always eager to pay his taxes because they are the price of freedom. We should feel the same.
John C. Board
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