Archive for July 1st, 2006

Just the other day, Kemmick was noting how politically savvy our Governor is. Well…he’s done it again. After a spectacular announcement that the state would deal with a budget surplus by giving state homeowners a property tax rebate, today he revealed that we won’t get our money if voters pass CI-97.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer said a careful reading of a lengthy ballot measure aimed at capping state spending would prevent him from going forward with a plan to give flat $400 rebates to Montana property taxpayers.

Sheer brilliance. How many folks will vote for the initiative and scr*w themselves of a couple hundred bucks?

Conservatives, of course, are up in arms. Backers of CI-97 – the SOS, or “Scr*w Our State” spending cap initiative whose idiot cousin crippled Colorado’s infrastructure – say Schweitzer’s claims are…sort of…untrue.

Any rebate mandated by the initiative would have to be handed out “pro rata,” meaning people would get payments based on how much they paid in taxes.

[snip]

If the $100 million was sent back in such a way, PPL Inc. would get $1.6 million, while the owner of a $100,000 home would get $123. The out-of-state owner of a $16 million Whitefish trophy home would get $17,000.

State Republicans are crying foul, claiming it’s election politics. Who knows? Maybe it is. Aren’t politicians supposed to play politics? I certainly missed the outcry from Republicans over the Bush administration playing politics with national security. Of course, in the right-wing world, playing politics with a war, the Constitution, and security is okay, but real estate is not to be fooled with.

Cry me a river, folks. In the end, there’s no mandate on how the Governor and the legislature deals with the budget surplus. They can do what they want with the money. And they’re giving it to us, regular Montanans. If the gift helps defeat CI-97, all the better. Then we’d be helping ourselves twice.

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