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Vote no on tax increases

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School District 23 voters are being asked to approve over $61 million in school improvements to be repaid over 25 years. This ballot has been delivered to you in the last week or so. 

Additionally, Lake County voters will be asked in January 2020 to approve $50 million for county law enforcement building improvements and associated operating expenses over 20 years. The above represent expenditures of over $111 million. 

Your property taxes will increase over $600 a year on a $300,000 home and over $800 a year on a $400,000 home. You know what you pay now: calculate the percent change. It is huge. 

These two ballots, if approved, represent effectively a permanent tax increase on your property. Of course, there will be additional property tax increases along the way when the state declares that your property’s value has increased. There are some very legitimate reasons having to do with our status on an Indian reservation that these types of expenditures be deferred until important legal issues are resolved between tribes, Montana and the federal government. 

If these legal matters are not resolved before these expenditures are committed, guess who foots the entire bill. Yep, you, the Lake County property taxpayers. Vote “No.” 

There are improvements needed in our county courthouse and schools, but first things first. Let’s apply pressure on our elected representatives to solve these other matters first, and then, when the burden can be spread fairly across county residents, build the new things we need, if we can afford them. For now, vote no. Be sure to return your ballot so it is counted. Thanks. 

Tony Marshall 


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