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Published October 4, 2023

MACo Board Responds to Governor’s Missive

Letter provides feedback and expresses concerns

HELENA, MT – The Montana Association of Counties (MACo) Board of Directors sent a letter today to Governor Gianforte highlighting several matters of concern in response to his perspective on recently-passed legislation that he provided via a missive to all Montana county commissioners in September.

The letter emphasizes that MACo functions as a member-services organization, led by elected county commissioners who provide policy direction, which is then supported by the executive director and staff.

“MACo acknowledges the strong working relationship between counties and state government,” stated Fergus County Commissioner Ross Butcher, current MACo President. “And we appreciate the collaborative efforts, but we must address areas where there is clear divergence in policy interpretation.”

During the recent legislative session, MACo’s members actively participated in the legislative process, advocating for local decision-making and local control, but there were—and still are—discrepancies in how certain bills are perceived in terms of benefit to local governments.

The letter also brings up concerns related to property taxes, inmate reimbursement, and the solvency of the Sheriff’s Pension System. MACo emphasizes the importance of addressing property tax burdens and clarifies misconceptions regarding the mill levy’s impact on school funding, particularly that levying 77.89 mills will only impact the State’s General Fund.

In conclusion, MACo invites Governor Gianforte to further discuss these concerns and emphasizes their shared commitment to fiscal responsibility and transparent government.


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Montana Association of Counties  |  |  (406) 449-4360