A Seriously Flawed Cash Grab

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Proponents Say I-185 Is About Healthcare, But This Is All About Money

Supporters say that the new tax revenues will support the permanent expansion of Montana’s Medicaid program, but I-185 only dedicates a fraction of the money it generates to its stated purpose.

More than half of the revenue goes to the General Fund and existing programs. We shouldn’t be giving a multimillion-dollar blank check to politicians in Helena.

Montana's Veterans Should Not Be Used As Political Props

I-185’s backers also claim the measure will help veterans, but the fine print of the measure actually caps veterans’ service support at just 4 percent. Montana’s veterans should not be used as political props to sell a flawed ballot measure.

More of the Money Should Go To Helping Smokers Quit

And, while I-185 raises millions in new tobacco taxes, only 4 percent of new revenues will go to smoking prevention and cessation programs.

If we are going to force adult smokers and tobacco consumers to pay another $74 million in new taxes then more of the money should go toward helping them quit or keeping kids from starting.

I-185 Is Just Bad Fiscal Policy That Is Likely To Create a Need for Additional Future Tax Increases

I-185 dramatically grows government spending with a revenue source that is proven to decline over time.

As smoking declines and tobacco tax revenue drops, the measure’s spending levels are locked into the law.

Those spending levels will actually increase as healthcare costs rise, which could require additional tax hikes or cuts in services to make up the shortfall.