Rep. Ricci will not support new taxes

By: 
Vince Ricci
Thursday, January 3, 2019

Guest Commentary

Greetings’, it is time again for Debbie and I to pack our things so I can serve in the 2019 session of the Montana Legislature in Helena. I am honored to be your Representative for HD 55.The committees I have been appointed to serve on are Business and Labor as its Vice Chair, Health and Human Services and I am Chair of Legislative Administration. There will be robust debate as Montana’s budget is crafted. Governor Bullock is proposing $160 million dollars in new taxes to fund his 2 year budget. I will not be able support new taxes, which include $102 million in new tobacco taxes, ( which was defeated last election) $20 million in new liquor excise taxes and liquor license taxes, $18 million in lodging taxes, $5 million car rental tax and $12 million in new taxes paid by investment advisors. We all know that any tax increase will be passed on to the consumer in higher prices as a cost of doing business.

Some of the other important issues sure to come to the legislature are a bill to privatize Montana State Fund, Medicaid Expansion, new liquor laws, prescription drug price controls and some opiate reform. I tend to not support new laws, I would like to see minimal government, and larger government takes more in taxes to support it.

There are some members of the Republican caucus that are proposing new rules to govern the house, I will not vote for the rules change, I see the current rules as an efficient checks and balances between the Senate and the House. If the rules are changed it will make the bills to increase taxes easier to pass. Tax bills and others that are tabled in committee can easily be blasted to the House floor for a simple majority to pass. Those in favor of the changes want us to believe that the simple majority vote to blast a bill out of committee is the will of the people, I believe that the majority of Montanans do not support any new tax increases. Thanks again for the support; I can be reached at Vince.Ricci@mtleg.gov for questions, comments and input.

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