MEA-MFT testimony on Revenue

Diane Fladmo testimony
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government
 

MEA-MFT opposes the five percent reduction plans as a starting point for budget deliberations. The Governor’s budget proposal represents a lean budget for lean times. Further cuts through a global motion like this one are arbitrary and hardly allow for analysis of impacts, let alone legislative, public, or committee discourse.

 

The budget should start at the adjusted based as in previous sessions. If there are individual cuts contemplated those should be brought individually for debate and discussion. Doing less diminishes legislative input into how the budget should look and analysis of impacts on Montana’s citizens from such actions.

 

If 5% global increases were being contemplated, there would be an outcry for public input and analysis to thoroughly examine every expenditure. The same should be true of these reductions which will eliminate millions of dollars of essential and important services to the people of Montana in one motion.

 

The proposed additional five percent reductions will be detrimental to the State of Montana’s ability to provide essential public services and maintain a quality workforce.

 

For example, the additional five percent cuts to the Dept. of Revenue could have serious negative ramifications. The hardworking, quality staff members at the Department of Revenue have managed to bring in revenue that, but for their efforts, would not have been collected – revenue due under existing Montana laws. 

 

In this critical time for Montana’s economy, why would we decrease the capacity of the state to collect revenue rightfully owed under current statute? The sound investment made in the Dept. of Revenue will provide funds for needed services without imposing new taxes for Montanans.