Billings Council Backs ACT
Billings City Council has narrowly endorsed Authorize Community Transformation– by a 6-5 margin– in an effort to convince the 2017 Legislature to allow communities to vote on a local option tax of up to 3 cents on the dollar, or, about $47 million annually for infrastructure in Billings. The vote came on Monday after many business, banking, education and tourism officials lobbied the council to approve the measure, including the formation of a local committee to recommend projects, but only if the legislature approves the measure.
The council also approved a plan to pay for infrastructure investments as proposed by the Montana Infrastructure Coalition, which has proposed to raise the population cap that dictates which cities can enact a resort tax. That cap is currently 5,500 residents. Mayor Tom Hanel voted for the ACT proposal. Councilor Ryan Sullivan tried to amend the motion to support ACT, but that amendment failed.