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I am grateful to Republicans who successfully held the line against raising taxes during the special session. My gratitude notwithstanding, property tax increases are a strong possibility as costs are deferred to bloated local government such as school districts. Furthermore, I am alarmed after researching Republican Sen. Llew Jones, the “key architect of the final compromise,” and wonder how he got the job.

The Americans for Prosperity scorecard is based on 22 bills impacting private enterprise. Llew Jones scored 44 (an F), tied with one other for the lowest Republican score. Fifteen Republicans got a perfect 100 score,and the mean/median were low 90s.

Another source, the TAB score, ranked voting records of legislators from 2005-2013, based on bills impacting government spending, taxing, and regulation. A perfect score is 100, a passing score above 70. Llew Jones scored among the lowest of Republicans and worse than most Democrats: 49 (2005), 5 (2007), 17 (2009), 23 (2011) and 10 (2013).

Watch closely the final product from key architect Llew Jones and Gov. Steve Bullock with their penchant for growing government at the expense of private enterprise. I expect a shell game, with the burden ultimately carried on the backs of hard working Montana taxpayers.

– Annie Bukacek, Bigfork

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