Montana University System Tax Levy, LR-118 (2008)
The Montana University System Tax Levy Referendum, also known as LR-118, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Montana as a legislatively-referred state statute, where it was approved. The measure continued a six mill tax levy to support the Montana university system.
|Montana LR-118 (20008)|
Election results via: Montana Secretary of State
Text of measure
The text of the measure can be read here.
- State Senator Robert Hawks
- State Representative Margarett Campbell
- Former Montana Secretary of State and 2004 gubernatorial candidate Bob Brown
- Montana Chamber of Commerce
- Montana State AFL-CIO
- Montana Farmers Union
- Montana Farm Bureau (dead link)
Arguments in favor of LR-118
Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:
- The initiative does not represent a tax increase, just a continuation of a tax that has been active since 1948.
- The 6 Mill Levy is "a tiny fraction" of a home owner's taxes, but it accounts for "about 9%" of the total state support for higher education.
- The levy pays for educational programs for nearly 42,000 students.
- The 6 Mill Levy is "an important Montana tradition," having been around since 1920 and having been approved by voters every decade since.
Arguments against LR-118
Notable arguments made in opposition to the measure included:
- It is unfair for Montanans to be forced to pay for other people's educations.
- The Montana university system spends too much, adding to the state's debt.
- Some Montanans might object to funding a university system that "attempted suppression of a Christian group while funding 'Sex-a-Palooza'" and enacted policies which disarm students.
- If the levy were defeated, it might inspire a new "'bottom-up' funding approach" which could grant students consumer power and lead to "healthy competition" between universities.
A Taxpayer's Perspective from NTU
Legislative Referendum No. 118 asked Montana’s voters to continue a special 6-mill levy on all real estate and personal property, with the funds going to support the university system. The current 6-mill levy will stay in effect between January 2009 and January 2019.
- See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
|Month of Poll||Pollster||Yes||No||Undecided||Reference|
|Sept 2008||MSU Billings||69 percent||-||-|||
- Montana 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- List of Montana ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Montana
- LR-118 ballot language
- Montana Constitutional Amendments
- Montana Initiative and Referendum
- Legislative Referendum No. 118
- Montana Secretary of State, "Historical Ballot Initiatives and Referenda," accessed August 6, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "Archive Publications," accessed August 6, 2014
- National Taxpayers Union, 2008 Ballot Guide
- MSU Billings University Relations, "Schweitzer holds strong lead in gubernatorial race, MSU Billings poll says" October 24, 2008
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