Posted: Jun 11, 2012 3:02 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Steve Bullock, the Democratic candidate to become Montana's next governor, says that if he's elected he will return a portion's of the state's budget surplus to taxpayers.
On Monday, Bullock and his running mate John Walsh announced a plan for a homeowner property tax rebate.
State budget forecasters are predicting the State of Montana will close out this budget cycle with more than $400 million dollars in the bank.
Bullock says that his proposal would take $100 million dollars and give every homeowner a $400 check.
He said, "This is something that will be a job-creating measure, that will return money to Montana homeowners and then the money can be spent directly on Main Street. There will also be additional investments in education, infrastructure and other things."
When asked why lower income families who don't own homes aren't a part of the plan, Bullock says that the majority of the tax burden has been put on homeowners and this offers them some relief.
He says every homeowner will get the same rebate and it won't be dependent on the value of the home.
Governor Brian Schweitzer first implemented this tax rebate back in 2007.
Bullock's Republican opponent in the election, Rick Hill, responded to Bullock's plan by saying, "Montanans and our job creators need permanent property tax relief, not a one time gimmick that won't do anything to stimulate the economy."
Hill says that by using the state share of the oil and gas revenues along with the lease and royalty income from Otter Creek coal development, the state can provide approximately $200 million of tax relief per biennium on a permanent basis.
Hill says the goal is for Montanans to save money every year, not just once.