OOPS: 'If we had done our due diligence, Montana would not have been our state,' Gianforte says
HELENA — Oops. Greg Gianforte said his move to Montana from New Jersey was an "oversight" and that "had we done our due diligence, Montana would not have been our state."
Gianforte, who now wants to be Montana's Governor, made the comments while answering questions from the Income Tax Advisory Council in 2002--the same meeting in which Gianforte lobbied to impose a statewide sales tax on hardworking Montana families.
Here's a transcript:
ATTORNEY LEO BERRY: "What prompted you to move to or stay in Montana with our tax structures that we have?"
GREG GIANFORTE: "Um. Oversight. (Laughter) I mean, that's the problem. I want to be honest--I've been coming to Montana for over 20 years for recreation. And my wife and I, and our four children, relocated here seven years ago, and, you know, we made a lifestyle change to be here. And we put roots down here. We love Mon--we've called it our home for seven years. If we had done our due diligence, Montana would not have been our state."
BERRY: "What state would it have been?"
GIANFORTE: "Um, could've been Wyoming. Could've been somewhere else."
Berry's question followed testimony in which Gianforte called a statewide sales tax "an ideal solution" and "the best solution" for Montana. Montana voters have twice rejected a statewide sales tax, each with overwhelming majorities.
"After admitting that moving here from New Jersey was an 'oversight,' Greg Gianforte wants to be our state's governor," said Jason Pitt, a spokesman for Steve Bullock. "Steve Bullock has always opposed a sales tax and unlike Mr. Gianforte has been a proud Montanan his entire life."
Bullock recently pushed for an amendment to Montana's constitution to forever eliminate the possibility of a sales tax in Montana, which would benefit millionaires like Gianforte while costing middle class families more.
According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, new business startups have created 44,000 new jobs in Montana over the past five years.
Additionally, Montana ranks as the:
- #1 state for entrepreneurial activity and startup businesses per capita for the fourth year in a row according to the Kauffman Foundation.
- #1 fairest tax system in the United States according to Wallet Hub.
- #1 state in the nation for household income growth according to the U.S. Census Bureau.