Helena—This week, Republican Senate President Scott Sales endorsed a statewide sales tax, telling Voices of Montana: “I would like to see a statewide sales tax and let’s get rid of income [tax] in its entirety.”
Sales’ endorsement comes despite the fact that Montanans have repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted to reject a sales tax. In 1971, the sales tax ballot initiative was voted down 70% to 30%, and in 1993, it was voted down 75% to 25%.
A 2011 Lee Newspapers poll found that only one out of every four Montanans supports replacing Montana’s income tax with a sales tax. The tax was opposed across all groups polled: men, women, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
Replacing Montana’s income tax with a statewide sales tax shifts the tax burdern away from the ultrawealthy and onto the backs of working Montanans. According to a study from the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy: “Sales taxes inevitably take a larger share of income from low- and middle-income families than from rich families.”
“Senator Scott Sales’ statewide sales tax would hurt every single hard-working middle class Montana family,” said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Senator Sales’ plan would cut taxes for millionaires while taxing everything from food and groceries to school supplies, shifting more of the burden onto the backs of working Montanans. Every Republican candidate and legislator must immediately tell Montanans whether they support The Scott Sales Tax.”
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