If you order a pizza and it’s $25 total and you give them a $50 bill, have you ever told a restaurant that if they spend more in the future they will keep your change? ? We know it sounds absurd, but not for the state government. In the last two years, the state of Montana has taken more than $1.6 billion from you, the Montana taxpayer, in the form of unanticipated, unanticipated, and unreasonable money. That’s money we didn’t need to run the state government biennially. A short special legislative session was recently called to refund your overpayment. It lacked votes needed for the special session to get your money back in time. While your Republican majority may disagree on the timing of returning your money this fall, the expectation from multiple conversations with our peers is that this will be a top priority for your Legislature in the early weeks of the 2023 session.
We look forward to working with the Governor to deliver on his campaign pledge of responsible budgeting and the return of your overpaid monies. We fully support his comeback plan when it says: “Government spending increases every year. In fact, it’s increased by more than 60 percent in the last 10 years alone. Just because the state government brings in more money doesn’t mean it has to spend it. After all, it’s not government money; You send the money you have earned to Helena.”
We are proposing that you be reimbursed for overpayments of money you earned and transferred to Helena up to $3,500 for full-time resident families who paid 2021 income tax as a joint taxpayer and paid property tax for a primary residence in Montana. That’s a big part of the change you’re having, the full-time taxpayer residing in Montana. So, enjoy your pizza and know that many of your lawmakers are working hard to get your money back in early January.
House Majority Leader Sue Winton; Senate Majority Leader Carrie Smith; Rep. Bill Mercer, R-Billings; Sen. Greg Hertz, R-Polson; Rep. Matt Rezier, R-Kalispell, Senator Dan Bartel, R-Lewistown