Missoula Legislator Kimberly Dudik appeared on Talk Back Monday to discuss a variety of legislative issues however, it was the specter of a sales tax that brought concern to Representative Dudik.

“Citizens should be concerned about the possibility of a sales tax,” said Dudik. “There is still talk here in Helena in the halls and committee rooms, and there are still some bills going forward that may try to institute a sales tax. I think that’s very bad and that we don’t need a sales tax, period.”

Dudik explained her strong opposition to any proposed statewide sales tax.

“I don’t even think we should be considering it,” she said. “It hurts everyone, it hurts working Montanans, and there are loopholes in our tax law now that should be changed. If we need more revenue, let’s look at that as a way to get it rather than hurting Montanans struggling to buy food, clothing or anything else that they need.”

Dudik said she has learned a great deal from her time in the legislature about the tax burden Montanans share.

“I serve on the Appropriations Committee where we look at the state’s finances and we approve the state budget. In the time between the sessions we looked at the revenue and tax landscape of Montana, and that was pretty eye opening. In about 2003, we had a significant change in our tax structure. There was a higher income tax bracket that only affected people making more than about $400,000 to $500,000 a year and they had to pay a little bit more up until 2003 when that higher tax bracket was eliminated. There was also a reduction in capital gains at the same time. Since that time the state has lost about a billion dollars of revenue, and instead that burden has been shifted onto working Montanans who earn far less that $500,000 a year.”

Dudik believes that tax bracket should be revisited before instituting a sales tax.