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Montana

ME: Polling Reveals Uphill Struggle to Defeat TABOR

A new poll in Maine reveals the uphill battle progressives face in educating the public about the dangers of TABOR-style spending caps. The poll reports that nearly three in four voters say they would vote for TABOR if the option was put in front of them today.

Good News on the Minimum Wage

Working Americans get some good news today out of three states -- Montana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania -- where progress is being made on the minimum wage. In Pennsylvania, Governor Ed Rendell signed a staggered, two-dollar increase into law. In Montana, signature gatherers succeeded in qualifying for the ballot an initiative to increase the minimum wage and tie the minimum to inflation.

MT: Cracking the Property Tax Nut

The property tax debate has long been a tough nut to crack for progressives. Especially since the 1990s, when it became the rage for rightwing legislators to cut spending at the state level, leaving county and local governments with few options other than raising property taxes to address shortfalls for key services like education. The worst part is that these tax shifts increased property taxes, which already tend to be regressive in nature.

Preventing the Revolt: Progressive Strategies on Property Taxes

For decades, property tax revolts have been a thorn in the side of progressives. California's Proposition 13 remains the highest profile example of the property tax revolt, but just about every legislator in the country can attest to the level of frustration many Americans feel about property taxes.

MT: A Tax Rebate for Regular Folks

Progressive States Co-Chair David Sirota likes Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer's new plan to provide equal property tax rebates to all Montana homeowners. The move, as he suggests in a new op-ed, "shows how progressives can redefine the entire tax debate."

MT: Property Tax Relief for Regular Folks, Not Paris Hilton by David Sirota

David Sirota Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is once again putting his populist economic agenda into action, this time introducing a major property tax relief plan that shows how progressives can redefine the entire tax debate.

MT: Governor Proposes Fair Tax Rebate

Like many states, Montana is predicting a budget surplus for the first-time in years. Conservatives have taken a one-time upswing in the state's fiscal outlook as an opportunity to cut taxes for large businesses -- including outfits like BNSF railway that have neglected environmental responsibilities.

The Taxpayers' Bill of Goods

With the 2006 elections quickly approaching, a small group of highly energized right-wing activists are working hard to export a failed policy from Colorado to other states around the nation. The idea is known variously as the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR), the Stop OverSpending Amendment (SOS), or as Tax and Spending Control (TASC). Fundamentally, though, all of the amendments boil down to a single policy idea: arbitrarily capping increases in state spending based on only two factors -- population growth and the consumer price index.

Western Governors Demand Action on Global Warming

The Western Governors Association on Sunday acknowledged an inconvenient truth. The bipartisan group of Governors from West Coast, Rocky Mountain, and Great Plains states came together to unanimously pass a resolution (PDF) that says that global warming is real, at least partially human-caused, and that now is a time for action.