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Two of Yellowstone County’s commissioners drew a line in the sand, last week, in discussing the proposed Northend Bypass project with representatives of a variety of different governmental agencies who must eventually sign off on it.
“Why are we talking about this, ten years into the project?” asked an incredulous Commissioner John Ostlund, after hearing comments which seemed to suggest that the agencies wanted to restart the project with a broader statement of purpose. “How much paper work do we have to do to get this done? How much do we need to spend to meet the NEPA and the Corp of Engineer processes?” he continued.
Commissioner John Ostlund informed members of the Lockwood Transportation District Board that the commissioners have submitted a written request to the County Attorney regarding the budget the district has submitted to the county. The Transportation Board submitted a budget, as they believe they are required to do annually according to Montana Codes Annotated, in April 2010. They wanted to know of the county commissioners why they received no response regarding that budget before submitting another one this year. Montana Law reads: “7-14-231. Transportation district budget. The board shall annually present its budget to the commissioners at the regular budget meetings as prescribed by law and therewith certify the amount of money necessary and proper for the ensuing year.”
Nationally, Tax Freedom Day is coming on April 12, three days later for American taxpayers compared to last year.
That’s according to the annual study released by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group headquartered in Washington, D.C. Tax Freedom Day calculates the cost to pay federal, state, and local taxes.
Following an exchange of letters regarding the proper role of Big Sky Economic Development Authority (BSEDA), local commercial real estate brokers strongly criticized the practices and the value of what the economic development agency, does at a recent board meeting.
“We have never worked with you and we never will work with you, because we view you as the enemy,” commercial Realtor, Al Koelzer, Billings, told members of the BSEDA and the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC). “You don’t have very much to offer in the way of incentives, and you are competing with us when you are out showing properties,” Koelzer continued.
The most important work of the legislature is to adopt policies to restore an economy of opportunity and job growth in Montana. Republicans have four priorities advancing to support private sector job growth: reforming our Workers Compensation system, reforming the Montana Environmental Policy Act, reducing the Business Equipment Tax, and creating a new budget process to take government spending increases off autopilot.
Issues regarding ZooMontana, possible conflicts of interest in TIF districts and how to attract business to the state were among matters of discussion at the joint executive committee meeting of the boards of Big Sky Economic Development Authority (BSEDA) and Economic Development Corporation (EDC)..
BSEDA has been asked for assistance by the financially troubled ZooMontana.
Big Sky Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently announced receiving a grant that will fund one of two development plans for an area that has been named the Billings Exposition Gateway. A second plan will be done for different purposes by the City Planning Department.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103