Harmful Ballot Initiatives Defeated
BOZEMAN, Montana – Following months of opposition, ballot initiatives CI-121 and I-191 both failed to receive the required number of signatures by the June 17, 2022, deadline for the November ballot.
CI-121 sought to amend the Montana Constitution to cap residential property taxes in Montana. This constitutional initiative would have shifted the tax burden to Montana’s farmers, ranchers and small businesses while penalizing new homeowners, young families and seniors.
I-191 would have subjected over 100 miles of the Gallatin and Madison rivers and their tributaries to strict regulations only found in national parks and wilderness areas. I-191 would have restricted ranchers from watering livestock, farmers from irrigating, limit fishing access and halt water conservation projects.
“Farm Bureau members are thrilled to learn that CI-121 and I-191 did not make the ballot,” said MFBF Executive Vice President John Youngberg. “We recognize that both dealt with issues that are important, but the solutions provided in both initiatives were impractical. These are issues that need to be dealt with thorough debate and decision making, not knee-jerk reactions through the initiative process.”
To contend these initiatives, the Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) joined the Know the Consequences: No on CI-121 and Stop I-191 collations. Both coalitions were made up of diverse businesses and organizations representing tens of thousands of Montana families, Main Street businesses, farmers and ranchers. MFBF members opposed these initiatives by participating in radio interviews, writing op-eds, hosting webinars and more.
“When CI-121 and I-191 offered many complications for the agriculture industry, Montana Farm Bureau jumped in early to make sure these bad ideas stayed off the ballot,” said Director of State Governmental Affairs Rachel Cone. “I am incredibly proud of the members of MFBF who wrote op-eds, stayed vigilant on signature gathers and advocated against these issues. A big thank you to the many organizations forming coalitions to show the diversity of stakeholders committed to finding better, more proactive solutions.”
With both harmful ballot initiatives defeated, MFBF is committed to identifying alternatives for tax relief in Montana and protecting water rights for Montana’s farmers and ranchers.
Want more news on this topic? Farm Bureau members may subscribe for a free email news service, featuring the farm and rural topics that interest them most!