Petition Update

Montana Supreme Court removes tax rebate, allows corporate personhood

John Watts
Nashville, TN

Aug 12, 2012 — In separate rulings Friday, the Montana Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling to strike a tax rebate referendum from the November ballot, but rejected an attempt to remove a campaign finance initiative.

Here was the outcome after the court’s actions:

• Off the ballot: Legislative Referendum 123, which would have provided for automatic tax credits – dollar-for-dollar reductions in tax liability – to individual income taxpayers and individual property owners if the state general fund budget surplus hit certain triggers.

• On the ballot: Initiative 166, a nonbinding policy statement that would direct the state’s congressional delegation to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to say that corporations aren’t people and money isn’t speech.

In the LR-123 case, the Supreme Court issued a brief order affirming District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena, who found the ballot measure unconstitutional.