Mar 24, 2017 Voices Of Montana 0 comment

A Different Montana Highway Funding Solution?

It seems Montana Republicans have been shooting down taxes left and right since day one of Montana’s 65th Legislative session.

Montana-State-Flag_Montana-Rehab-Centers-and-Support-Groups

So far proposed taxes on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana have all been nixed by the GOP but they may have met their match with the proposed gas tax.

On Thursday, The Montana House endorsed what would be the first tax on fuel in Montana in 24 years and many republicans are not fighting it, They are voting for it.

The bill passed its first vote 56-44 with 17 republicans joining 39 democrats in voting yes, two democrats and 42 republicans voted no.

The bill would raise funds to fix a backlog of roads and bridges across Montana that have fallen in disrepair and hopefully stop the trend of fatalities in Montana.

According to Rep Frank Garner R-Kalispell who authors the bill, The state is underfunding its infrastructure by 1 billion dollars saying that 1/3 of the state’s roads and 900 bridges are in disrepair.

On Fridays Voices of Montana statewide radio show, We spoke with two house members that voted against the tax bill and say they have a better idea and would not increase gasoline by 8 cents a gallon and diesel by 7 1/4 cents.

gas pump

State Rep Carl Glimm, R- Kila, has come up with a different highway funding solution that cuts funding for the Montana Department of Transportation and boosts money going to a special revenue account that funds state highway projects.

Montana Rep, Derek Skees, R-Kalispell thinks Glimm’s plan would work and save middle and lower-income Montanans hundreds of dollars a year, who he says would be hurt most by the proposed tax.

The proposed tax heads to the Montana Senate.

Listen to the whole Voices of Montana show Right here .

Jon Arneson