Helena IR: Cooney Proposes Constitutional Ban to Statewide Sales Tax

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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Helena IR: Cooney Proposes Constitutional Ban to Statewide Sales Tax
“Democrats cite testimony Gianforte made… in which he called a sales tax an ‘ideal solution’”
Helena, MT – Yesterday, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and Rep. Casey Schreiner released a plan to permanently ban a statewide sales tax, against the wishes of Greg Gianforte, who called the tax an “ideal solution” for Montana.

As reported by the Helena Independent Record, Cooney was motivated to act on the constitutional initiative because, “there will always be people like Greg Gianforte who are going to be looking for ways to bring a tax Montanans don’t like…” Cooney said, “I think (a constitutional initiative) gives Montanans a real protection.”

Referencing Cooney’s aggressive strategy to prohibit the legislature from ever passing a statewide sales tax pushed by Gianforte, the IR wrote, “Cooney has attacked Gianforte, including with ads characterizing a theoretical statewide sales tax as a ‘Gianfortax’ on various goods.”

Despite Republican attempts to deflect attention from Greg Gianforte’s vocal support for a statewide sales tax with a 2004 requested bill draft, the IR noted that “[Cooney] consistently voted against sales tax bills and the bill draft was never introduced in the Legislature.” Cooney said, “No. 1, the bill never got introduced from me, and secondly I voted each time against the sales tax as it was brought forward and so to try to make that as I’m a pro-sales tax person as a result of that is just a joke.”

“Greg Gianforte called imposing a statewide sales tax on working Montanans an ‘ideal solution,’” said MDP Deputy Communications Director Matt Fidel. “Gianforte lobbied for a bill to slash taxes for millionaires like himself, while raising taxes on the rest of Montanans. Mike Cooney and Casey Schreiner are going to make sure that doesn’t happen, by banning a statewide sales tax in Montana, once and for all.” 
 

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