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Taxation, Budget & Finance Committee Policy Statements

The Montana Association of Counties believes that local government is best able to provide programs and services that are responsive to unique local needs. Local governments should have broad authority to finance these services. This requires a revenue base that is stable and will provide adequate funding. Any method the State of Montana uses to generate revenue directly affects local governments. In the interest of maintaining the partnership between all levels of governments, we expect the State of Montana and the federal government to honor existing commitments to local governments.

  1. MACo supports local and statewide alternative revenue sources that will decrease the need to burden local property owners and will help stabilize the tax base.
  2. MACo supports the authority of local governments to have budget flexibility to meet the rising costs and demands for traditional, as well as additional, services.
  3. MACo believes that local governments should be adequately compensated for all non-renewable resources extracted to meet current and future impacts of affected counties.
  4. MACo supports greater flexibility in the fee setting authority of county government which adequately reflects the real costs of providing services.
  5. MACo supports reimbursement to counties for lost property taxes as a result of the acquisition of real property, or property held in trust, by either the state or federal government.
  6. MACo supports working in cooperation with the Montana Secretary of State’s Office to pursue additional state and federal funding sources to supplement local government election administration costs.
  7. MACo supports amending the Impact Fee Act to remove barriers (the 10-year useful life requirement; the requirement that one member of the impact fee advisory committee be a certified public accountant; the 5% cap on the administrative fee that may be retained by the unit of local government; a rational point of nexus where the impact fee can be collected) to adoption and implementation of impact fees.
  8. MACo supports state reimbursement to counties for lost property taxes as a result of the state’s acquisition of real property.
  9. MACo supports protecting counties from reduced funding and cost shifting from state to county government, and MACo supports protection of important programs and funding mechanisms, such as the Entitlement Shares, TSEP, renewable resource grants, Big Sky Trust Fund, and others, which allow counties to perform statutorily mandated duties and responsibilities.
  10. MACo supports efforts to implement pension reform policies to provide equitable long term funding and member benefit stability for the Montana Public Employees Retirement Systems affecting county employees, to achieve and maintain solvency and actuarial soundness and equity among beneficiaries and contributors to the systems.
  11. MACo believes that all volunteer firefighters and EMT's should be covered under the Montana Workers Compensation Act.
  12. MACo supports the full and long-term funding of the Montana State University Local Government Center within the University system budget.
  13. MACo supports the extension of the sunset of the statutory appropriation for the  distribution of metal mines license tax funds allocated to impacted counties.