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Arntzen respects oath she took

2010-09-08T00:00:00Z Arntzen respects oath she took The Billings Gazette
September 08, 2010 12:00 am

On Aug. 30, there was a joint city council and county commissioners meeting held in regards to TIFDs. There was discussion of a proposed bill in the upcoming legislative session by Rep. Arntzen. This bill would remove the 95 mills from tax increment districts. The revenue that is collected from the 95 mills would then be used for what it was intended, that being school equalization. The 95 mills are assessed to all properties in the state for school equalization. A brief history of the 95 mills: in 1986, Helena School District along with 65 other school districts sued the state of Montana for failing to properly fund schools. The District Court along with Supreme Court then agreed that school funding had failed the Montana Constitution Article X Section 1 (3) “it shall fund and distribute in an equitable manner.” The court ordered the Legislature to provide an “equitable funding method.” When the Legislature failed to act in the regular session in 1989, Gov. Stan Stephens called a special session of the Legislature to comply with the court order. HB28 was passed and what is now known as the 95 mills was passed to address the Constitutional requirements “equitable funding.” The 95 mills come from a constitutional interpretation and not from some Legislature endeavor. It is encouraging to see that Arntzen respects the oath of office that she and all other public officials take. Montana Constitution, Article III, Section 3. Oath of Office: “I will support, protect and defend the constitution of the State of Montana.”

Kevin Nelson

Billings

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