BOZEMAN, Montana – On January 13, 2022, the Montana Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors voted to oppose Constitutional Initiative 121 (CI -121), a ballot measure designed to cap residential property taxes in the state of Montana.
Montana Farm Bureau recognizes the state of Montana’s complicated tax structure but amending the constitution at the expense of Montana’s small businesses, farmers and ranchers is not the solution to handle this complex issue. CI-121 not only threatens current main street small businesses and agriculture but also future investments in those sectors when it is needed most. Based on our reading of the CI-121, we have concluded:
- CI-121 sets up a tax shift to all property not classified as residential, moving the tax burden to agricultural operations and small businesses;
- CI-121 will increase the cost of agricultural products to compensate for this increased tax burden along with already increasing operation costs;
- This amendment of the constitution further complicates the ability to alter future and fiscally responsible tax policy; and
- The passage of CI-121 directly hurts rural communities with an increased tax burden instead of addressing other more fiscally responsible solutions to tax reform.
To further oppose CI-121, Montana Farm Bureau has joined a large and diverse coalition representing tens of thousands of Montana families, small businesses, farmers and ranchers. Montana Farm Bureau and this collation urge the public and lawmakers to investigate the major long-term impacts from this proposal and decline to sign any petition set on placing CI-121 on the ballot.
CI-121 is not the solution to provide tax relief to Montana taxpayers, but Montana Farm Bureau is committed to identifying alternatives to CI-121’s proposed tax burden on businesses and agriculture.