In His Own Words: Gianforte Would Put Montana's Balanced Budget in the Red
There are plenty of questions that New Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte is sidestepping on the campaign trail. But one issue he is very comfortable talking about is how he would use Montana's budget surplus as a means to pay for his reckless agenda.
In his own words:
Havre Daily News: "Gianforte said...he would have signed three tax bills passed by the Republican-led state legislature during last year's legislative session."
Billings Gazette Editorial Board: "The business equipment tax...I believe it should be phased out"
Helena Independent Record Editorial Board: "Which leaves at least $200 million or so for infrastructure"
Add it up:
"If Greg Gianforte has his way, Montana would no longer be the most fiscally prudent state in the country," said Jason Pitt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. "It's pretty clear Gianforte will force his agenda on Montanans even if it means damaging our credit ratings and our financial security."
Only Gianforte's reckless agenda stands to benefit from his plan to turn Montana's budget surplus into a deficit. The tax bills SB171, SB200, and HB166 would benefit the wealthy at the expense of middle class families. Governor Bullock already eliminated the business equipment tax for thousands of Montana small and medium sized businesses. Now Gianforte wants to take the remaining revenue away from the state and give it to multimillion dollar corporations.
Gianforte's reckless agenda would have a devastating effect on state's credit ratings and fiscal strength. Credit rating agencies on Montana:
- Moody's - "The Aa1 rating reflects the state's trend of conservative fiscal management, low debt levels, and an economy that is growing and diversifying beyond its traditional concentrations in the natural resource and government sectors."
- Fitch - "The state benefits from very high trust fund balances and a practice of carrying solid ending budgetary fund balances, helping to offset the cyclicality interest in its resource-based economy and tax revenue system."
- Standard & Poor - "The 'AA' GO rating reflects our view of the state's: Strong available general fund balances on a historical basis, which provide a substantial buffer should there be any unanticipated softness in the state's key revenue streams"