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Helena Montana State Capital

Fiscal Reform – TABOR

Feb 6, 2023 by AFP

Unleashing opportunity through sound fiscal policy and allowing Montanans to keep more of what they earn. 


Unsustainable government spending limits the economic opportunity of all Americans and fuels special-interest politics that rig the system in favor of the well-connected at the expense of everyone else. It’s also creating a debt load that presents one of the most significant obstacles to success for Americans today.  

To get the country back on the right fiscal track, Americans for Prosperity is working to rein in mandatory and discretionary spending, eliminate handouts that pick winners and losers while disadvantaging hardworking taxpayers, and create a tax code that enables everyone to succeed instead of punishing their success.  

Local Taxpayer Bill of Rights in Montana 

As a taxpayer, you are the backbone of the state government, and it is time you were treated like it. Tell your legislator to support a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), H.B. 324! The legislation would cap government spending except during emergencies. We all know that nearly every single year, local governments find ways to get more of their money.   

We recognize that as population and inflation go up, so does the cost of maintaining essential government services. However, local governments in Montana’s largest cities have far exceeded that spending level. As a result, Montanans are being taxed out of their homes because local governments cannot prioritize their spending habits.  

A study from the Frontier Institute recently outlined how out of control the spending in Montana’s largest cities has gotten. The growth in the cost of services is caused by inflation and population growth. Between 2014 and 2022, Missoula spent 35.4% beyond the growth of population and inflation during that same time period. Bozeman exceeded it by 35.3%, and Kalispell by 35.3%.   

Often, this comes with sizeable general tax increases, and while these are a huge problem, there are often many hidden taxes enacted by the local government. These increases include permit increases, special district assessments, Tax Increment Financing, and so many more. Local TABOR addresses the root cause of wasteful spending by local governments that offer protections in all the above areas.  

Colorado has an extraordinarily successful TABOR that limits the amount of money local governments can spend, stemming significant hidden tax increases without explicit voter approval! In many of Montana’s largest cities, local governments drastically increased their spending far above what population and inflationary growth would justify!  

Tell your legislator to vote for TABOR in MT!  

What the Federal Government Can Do 

Preserving economic opportunity means the government must keep debt and taxation in check, and workers must be free to seek jobs that match their needs.  

More than 4.5 million people left their jobs in November. The state government and Congress must ensure employers have the flexibility to offer job choices by approving the Modern Worker Empowerment Act, which preserves Americans’ ability to work independently. The Working Families Flexibility Act gives employees more options for overtime compensation.