TAX BASED GROWTH INCENTIVES
a) OPPORTUNITY ZONES (like Uptown). These have huge federal tax incentives. Let’s add an MT “perk”- person or business moves to an Opportunity Zone AND invests $100K (rehab)--GIVE 50% OFF STATE TAXES FOR FIVE YEARS. [NEW MONEY!]
b) PROPERTY TAXES-Expand “delay” avail. on tax increases on rehab/new construction.
c) LOWER INCOME TAX ON PENSIONS FOR FOLKS RETIRING HERE. [NEW $]
d) WIND & SOLAR-5% MT tax credit for U.S. MADE alternative power (large & small) &
purchasing U.S. MADE electric/nat’l gas vehicles. [ “Let folks spend their
e) 5% REHAB TAX CREDIT-middle class only; 1st $100K of major rehab/primary home.
f) MOVE $45M MONTANA HERITAGE CENTER TO BUTTE-Helena got the bed tax increased STATEWIDE for this (when private charities/donors there failed.) SAD. In Butte, one of our environmental funds is controlled by the governor and expressly allows 15% for arts & culture. Instead of taxing hotels more (at this time of travel crisis due to coronavirus) to spend $45 million in Helena, let’s take that $15M from the fund, go to TOWN PUMP, WASHINGTON, and other foundations, get “2 for 1” match from them and build it here…& THEN REPEAL THE BED TAX INCREASE.[If too late to cancel Helena, let’s get Governor to pledge $15M for our OWN new museum in Butte.]
g) “RE-INDUSTRIALIZATION”-tax credits on all new & major rebuild of mfr. plants-i) 10% short term ITC (investment tax credit) (next 2-5 yrs.); ii) 5% permanent ITC for new/major rebuild of ALL manufacturing in Montana; 50% higher for Recovery Zones.
h) BED TAX SURVEY-35 years in guest ranching leaves me HIGHLY dubious about how this tax is spent. Let’s have payors conduct a survey and see if they feel bed tax should be reduced, and spending approach changed. If a majority agree, then let’s do a referendum.
PROMOTE & PROTECT MONTANA MANUFACTURING
a) REQUIRE Governor to visit at least two manufacturers in each county (each YEAR).
b) PATENT AUDIT-Conduct a MAJOR “audit” of all unused tech & similar patents held (incl.by Fed. gov’t) relative to Montana; seek to promote their use HERE.
c) AUTHORIZE CO-OPS FOR CHEAP (and clean) INDUSTRIAL POWER
COMING BUDGET CRISIS
For months I have been trying to warn that we are about to hit a brick wall and a FULL-BLOWN CRISIS. The state budget folks are now STARTING to admit we will have AT LEAST A 20% REVENUE DROP…AND THIS WILL MORE THAN WIPE OUT ALL OUR RESERVES. Below are my ideas to help.
SPENDING CUTS/CONTROLS (SEE ALSO V & VI BELOW)
a) EMERGENCY FREEZE (min.2yrs)-new spending: ONLY via 2:1 specific cuts or new revenues (NOT including emergency revenue enhancement).
b) USE “MARSHALL PLAN” TYPE CONTROLS-for every $ X to be spent, one person in charge of & directly responsible for that spending--with TWO MORE checking up & also RESPONSIBLE (i.e. PERSONALLY liable if they are GROSSLY negligent).[Under Marshall Plan, with NO computers, we spent nearly 1 years’ US GDP in Europe—with NO scandals on “F/W/A”—FRAUD WASTE & ABUSE. Here in MT, we are perfectly situated to use this old but good approach.]
c) ATTACK “F/W/A” (FRAUD, WASTE & ABUSE) HEAD ON-The State “watchdog” audited 1300 state employees & found 1 in 5 (20%***) knew of MASSIVE WASTE, FRAUD, & ABUSE…yet this “watchdog” recently claimed they only got TWO “substantiated” complaints in the last 12-18 months (one was Corey Stapleton’s several $K overuse of his pickup truck)…BS… …I alone gave them THREE sets of fraud records totaling over $10 MILLION.
***I (similarly) estimate 20% overall “FWA” or ONE BILLION PER YEAR. I have already SUED this “watchdog” (the Legislative Audit Committee) AND the other “watchdog: (MT DOR—Revenue). I intend to do a LOT MORE NEXT YEAR IF ELECTED. [See VI below for more details.]
d) CREATE A “GRACE COMMISSION” ON MT FRAUD/WASTE/ABUSE (enforce).
e) COMMUNITY BASED BUDGETING (after crisis, allocate 2% of revenues to start).
EMERGENCY (ONLY) TEMPORARY (2 YEARS ONLY) REVENUE ENHANCEMENT
WE MUST CUT FIRST-.but at least SOME revenue enhancement may still be needed… TEMPORARILY-NEXT TWO YEARS-ONLY. Here’s some possibilities IF UNAVOIDABLE.
f) 10% (temporary/2 yrs.) surcharge on MT income taxes due (incomes over $500K) (avoid by moving to Opportunity Zone—like fixing a house or condo in Uptown Butte!!!!)
g) 5% (temporary/2 yrs.) retail charge on foreign made goods (10% if from China).
h) 2% (TEMPORARY-2 YRS ONLY) transfer fee on real estate (over $500K)
i) 2% (temporary/2 yrs.) retail fee on low mileage/high pollution vehicles (exempt biz use).
BUT FIRST-ATTACK BILLIONS OF FRAUD/WASTE/ABUSE (“FWA”) IN HELENA-
a) 20-40% ESTIMATES-I work with numerous fraud discovery experts (especially “CFE’s”-Certified Fraud Examiners), including my own brother. ALL of them estimate government fraud/waste/abuse (outside non-discretionary spending) being AT LEAST 20-30%. [Some say 40%.] I feel 20-30% is accurate.
b) MT FWA AT “ONLY” 10%-at “only” 10% in “FWA”… our $5B budget ($10B/2 yrs.) means ONE BILLION OF FWA EVERY TWO YEARS (or $1/2 BILLION/yr.).
c) AT PROBABLE MINIMUM OF 20%--THIS IS ONE BILLION PER YEAR WASTED.
d) MY FRAUD WORK- Over the last 2-3 yrs. I have found FRAUD totaling at least $20-25 MILLION DOLLARS in recent gov’t grant fraud here in BSB. [Most was low income housing fraud-rest was $ for economic development and arts.]
e) BSB=$5M-PER YEAR (min)-I have found a repetitive pattern of $2-3M/year EACH in phony tax revenue fraud schemes and in blatant spending fraud, or about $5 MILLION PER YEAR. [The TOTAL in BSB is likely at least TRIPLE what I have found.]
f) ONE PER CENT? -if our STATEWIDE “FWA” is “only” $500 MILLION/YR, then how in the hell did just little old me find ONE PER CENT OF THE STATEWIDE TOTAL??
g) TWENTY PER CENT ESTIMATE-Our primary “watchdog” in Helena is the Legislative Audit Committee (LAC) and its staff. They do two things: i) “performance audits” of state agencies, and ii) preliminary investigation (then referral for action) “FWA” (of ANY “state resource”. [Theirs is a very similar to role of Federal Inspector General.]
h) LAC “BRAGS”-Last year, LAC did an “audit” of state employees; one in five (20%) reported knowing of SERIOUS waste. My view is this indicates our true figure for the REAL F/W/A up in Helena is likelier 20% than a mere 10%.
i) LAC “WATCHDOG” IS WORTHLESS-Like the Federal IG, the LAC is required by law to investigate ALL reports of F/W/A involving ANY state resource, and then make a report results, They are required to forward to Atty.Gen’l and other agencies all complaints of FWA that are “substantiated”. Incredibly, in the press release about “1 in 5”, they actually BRAG about two (yes ONLY TWO) complaints in the prior 12-18 months as being “substantiated” and referred for action (and one of those two was Cory Stapleton’s over use of his state pickup truck.).
j) I CALL B.S*. -LAC now confirms that 1 in 5 (20%) STATE EMPLOYEES know of significant FWA-and many citizens (like me) file real complaints to LAC. But only TWO are found by LAC as “substantiated” in a 12-18-month period? [One, Cory’s truck overuse.] *NO !#*+ WAY- this nonsense at “fraud watchdog” is my #1 item to attack if elected.
k) I CALL B.S.#2-My experience with LAC so far is insane. I complained of MILLIONS in both tax revenue fraud and spending abuses at our URA in Uptown. They ASKED for my records of both. Then they claimed they could not even look at spending, only revenue (even though that is their statutory mission, even more than MT DOR). Eventually, they accepted URA’s claims that they had no records (including statutorily mandated annual financial statements) …but ruled all at URA was “kosher” ---because the books of our AIRPORT AUTHORITY were clean. [I am not kidding.]
l) I already sued LAC (and MT Dept. Rev.) for some of their breathtaking violations of Sunshine and other of our laws. If elected, I assure you that I will leave NO stone unturned to force LAC to do its job-hearings, legislative subpoenas, stiffer laws.
m) CORONA VIRUS our tax revenues are plummeting. THE BILLIONS IN FRAUD, WASTE, AND ABUSE SIMPLY CAN NO LONGER BE IGNORED…especially by our own “watchdogs”, who show nothing but CONTEMPT for us and OUR HARD-EARNED MONIES.
n) FALSE CLAIMS ACT (FCA) CHANGES-our #1 anti-fraud “law” gives share to whistleblower: i) update to be “liberally construed” and to allow “pro se” (no lawyer) FCA cases; ii) DOUBLE existing penalties where fraud involves federal $ paid through the state; iii) give MT Attorney General (and Legis. Audit Comm.) more and better staff,--*******including CFE and other fraud discovery classes for ALL personnel; iv) allow staff attorneys who prevail and recover fraud monies & penalties to get a small % bonus (from the “relator’s” 20-35% share , not from the government’s share.); v) create PERSONAL liability for any public servant knowingly involved in FCA fraud upon us (i.e. ignoring or abetting obvious “false claims”) AND for any public servant knowingly avoiding their duty to investigate and act upon receipt of a substantive complaint of fraud, waste, or abuse; vi) allow a small “share” when fraud is brought to state agency instead of courts; vii) REQUIRE LEG. AUDIT TO DO ONLY “FRAUDITS” FOR NEXT TWO YEARS.
o) INCREASE “SUNSHINE LAW” PENALTIES-
Our constitution REQUIRES public access to public documents/information, and to attend PUBLIC meetings. However, the “enabling” statutes are unbelievably weak. There are NO real penalties for even the most flagrant violations-only the “right” to sue (and MAYBE you can get part of your legal fees much later).
On illegal/secret meetings, you can ONLY sue---and you MUST file in just 30 days! The Lawbreaking here on “Sunshine” (in our constitution!) is now rampant. SAD.
i) add REAL penalties to the law (starting w/2 weeks’ pay on bureaucrat accountability).
ii) make legal fees FULL (and joint PERSONAL employee liability w/ gov’t agency)—then make them DOUBLE for knowing and intentional. STOP THE BUREAUCRATS’ GAMES!
iii) give 6 MONTHS to file suit on illegal secret meetings (not current 30 days).
iv) STOP “COPY FEE” ABUSE on records access. OUR RIGHT TO RECORDS IS IN OUR CONSTITUTION. I suggest 20 cents a page 1st 100 copies, then 15 cents; NO FEE FOR “VIEWING” ACCESS ONLY.
v) FINE FOR IGNORING- Many bureaucrats (***ESP. County Attorneys, and most esp. BSB Cty. Atty.) simply (illegally) IGNORE Sunshine Law requests. FINE THEM!! 1 week’s pay for 1st violation (***ESPECIALLY BY COUNTY ATTORNEYS); 2 weeks’ pay for second violation; 3 weeks’ pay for third violation-and so on.
***” SUNSHINE” IS OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT-THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO IGNORE ANY “SUNSHINE” REQUEST…ESPECIALLY BY COUNTY ATTORNEYS!!!!!