The cities and towns of Montana provide a healthy community with clean water, a sanitary environment, public safety, transportation, and recreational opportunities. These vibrant municipalities provide a safe and inviting environment that fosters the primary basis for the Montana economy. To provide quality municipal services to their residents and visitors, municipalities must wisely and efficiently use their limited financial resources. The League of Cities and Towns is committed to preserving and promoting these municipal qualities.
For the 2017 Legislative Session, the League will stand by the following principles of fair, affordable and effective local government:
- Preservation of an equitable property taxation system and the entitlement share payment to municipalities, while pursuing authority for municipalities to seek and develop new sources of revenue to fund essential local services.
- Promote diversification of the local government finance structure, particularly to develop supplements and alternatives to property tax revenue.
- Encourage the maintenance and expansion of state grant, loan and investment programs to fund infrastructure capital improvements to supplement the use of local funds.
- Advocate that new legal mandates imposed upon municipalities have an identified source of independent funding and are not an unfunded mandate imposed upon municipalities.
- Effective planning and development policies that encourages managed growth of municipalities for the promotion of the more efficient delivery of clean water, treatment and disposal of wastewater and solid waste, protect municipal water rights, interconnectivity of transportation systems, enhanced fire, police and public safety protection, improved recreation opportunities and other municipal services.
- Opposition to any measure that limits or diminishes municipal authority as provided by the letter and spirit of the Local Government Article of the 1972 Montana Constitution.
- Recognition of the contribution of cities and towns to the history and culture of our state and a better understanding of the fact that all public policy should begin and end with those special places a majority of Montanans call home.