When you order a pizza and they total $25 and hand them a fifty-dollar bill, has the restaurant ever told you that they’ll keep your change in case their expenses go up in the future? We know that sounds silly, but not to the state government. Over the past two years, the state of Montana has raised more than $1.6 billion in unexpected, unexpected, and unallocated money from you, the Montana taxpayer. It’s money we didn’t need to run the state government for the biennium. Recently, there was a call for a short special legislative session to return your overpayments. The call for the special session did not reach the vote level required to return your money to you in a timely manner. While your Republican majority may have disagreed on the timing of returning your money this fall, from many conversations with our colleagues, the silver lining is that this will be a top priority for your legislature to accomplish in the opening weeks of the 2023 session.
We look forward to working with the Governor to deliver on his campaign promise of a responsible budget and the return of your overpayments. We fully support his comeback plan when it states: “State government spending goes up every year. In fact, it’s gone up more than 60 percent in the last 10 years alone. Just because the state government brings in more money, it doesn’t mean that She has to spend it. After all, it’s not state money. It’s money that she’s earned and that she sends to Helena.”
We suggest that the overpayments you earned and sent to Helena be refunded to up to $3,500 for full-time resident families who paid income taxes as joint applicants for 2021 and paid property taxes on their primary residence in Montana. It’s a big part of the change that belongs to you, the full-time resident taxpayer in Montana. So, enjoy the pizza and know that many of your lawmakers are working hard to get your money back at the beginning of January.
House Majority Leader Sue Fenton; Senate Majority Leader Carrie Smith; Rep. Bill Mercer R-Billings; Senator Greg Hertz, R. Paulson; Rep. Matt Rieger, R Kalispell, Senator Dan Bartle, R Lewistown