Montana Senate Candidate Russell Fagg Backs an Internet Sales Tax

Matt Rosendale, Russell Fagg

Montana Senate Republican candidate Russell Fagg admitted to and then backtracked regarding his support for an Internet sales tax.

In February, Fagg spoke to the Voices of Montana and was asked whether he would support an Internet sales tax.

Fagg admitted, “To answer your question directly, yes I would support an online sales tax.”

In March, Fagg backtracked on his comments regarding his support for Internet sales tax, arguing he never said that.

“I actually did not say I would support an internet tax,” Fagg suggested.

Meanwhile, rancher and state auditor Matt Rosendale, who is competing against Fagg in the Montana Senate Republican primary, strongly opposes a sales tax in Montana.

“NO sales tax in Montana, period,” Rosendale tweeted in April.

Montana Democrats even oppose an Internet sales tax.

Fagg, as a state legislator, was the deciding vote to back a four percent sales tax. Fagg’s wife also donated to the ballot initiative to support the tax.

Montanan voters rejected a sales tax ballot initiative by a 3-1 margin in 1993. A two percent sales tax was rejected 70 to 30 percent in 1971.

A 2011 survey found that 64 percent of Montanans opposed a sales tax; the poll also suggested that the proposed tax was widely rejected by all groups, whether it was men, women, Republicans, Democrats, or Independents.

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) oppose a sales tax. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox wrote an op-ed in April opposing an online sales tax.

Fox wrote that if an online sales tax were enacted, “Montana businesses would need to track their online sales in potentially 10,000 or more state and local taxing jurisdictions that exist around the country. Worse, many laws could conflict with each other, and all could harm Montana businesses.”

State. Rep. Fagg also supported HD 89 Billings, which taxes Americans who produce coal from Indian lands at 40 percent of the tax of the imposed on coal produced from non-Indian lands.

The former president of Westmoreland Resources chastised Fagg’s bill, arguing that it would place his coal company “between a rock and a hard place,” suggesting that “there wouldn’t be any coal development” and “the economic burden…would fall on the Crow Tribe.”

The Crow Tribe said implementing Fagg’s bill “was a terribly unwise thing to do,” which would cause “enormous disruption” for the Tribe, bring significant job losses, and throw “tribal members into despair and poverty.”

Rosendale leads his next state Republican primary opponent, Fagg, by over double digits, according to a new poll released by Club for Growth in April.

Forty-nine percent of Republican primary voters describe Rosendale as “very conservative,” along with 31 percent who label him “somewhat conservative.”

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News Sunday, Rosendale said, “The people of Montana want to send me to Washington not to bring home the bacon, but to slaughter the hog.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) endorsed Matt Rosendale in February, calling him a “bold defender of our constitutional rights.”

“Matt Rosendale is the type of fearless defender of liberty I want fighting by my side in the Senate,” Paul said. “Matt has proven himself a bold defender of our constitutional rights, and he will make an excellent addition to the Senate.”

Matt Rosendale remains the sole Montana Republican primary candidate to have current members of the U.S. Senate endorse his campaign. More than 30 Montana elected officials have also endorsed Rosendale.

The Citizens United Political Victory Fund (CUPVF) and the affiliated Political Action Committee (PAC) of Citizens United endorsed Rosendale in December. Pro-Donald Trump super PAC, the Great America Alliance, also backed Rosendale for U.S. Senate.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) endorsed Rosendale, as well, to challenge Sen. John Tester in the 2018 Senate midterm election.

Sen. Cruz said in a statement, “Matt Rosendale has fought hard to shrink government and preserve liberty for Montana residents during his time in the state legislature and more recently as a state auditor. It’s time to let Matt take that fight to Washington; we need strong conservative reinforcements in the Senate.”

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