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As an owner of a family-run business that has been operating for over 50 years, I am concerned with the idea of shifting some of the tax burden from the big, out-of-state corporations to Montana small businesses and homeowners. After the last reappraisal of properties, our taxes went up substantially. We paid our taxes like we have done year after year for over 50 years. Blackmailing city and county governments with a tax protest that takes away money from schools is not morally or ethically justifiable. Our communities deserve better.

Small business is the backbone of Montana's economy. Who is going to stand up for us? I use to think it was the Republicans, but now they seem to be the party of big-business and big-money interests. Now the "big boys" can buy elections (Citizens United), because our Supreme Court has said that money equals free speech. Do you have the kind of money to compete with these big corporations? I know I don’t. These corporations can and do pressure legislators to do their bidding. If legislators or candidates don't fall in line, they will be attacked by groups with unlimited funds as witnessed during this campaign season.

Some Republicans have indicated they will put the corporate interests of some of the world's largest and most profitable companies before the interests of Montana businesses and homeowners. That translates to more money heading directly to Wall Street and less money in the pockets of Montanans.

Debra Bonogofsky

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Billings

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