Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Tuesday was a day of access for KGVO’s Talk Back listeners and callers to the highest levels of Montana State government.

Governor Greg Gianforte, Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, State Democratic Party Chair Robyn Driscoll and State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing all appeared and took calls from listeners.

Once Again, Property Taxes were the Theme of the Day on Talk Back

Governor Gianforte acknowledged the fact that property taxes have become a bigger burden to everyday Montanans than ever before.

“We have to do have more structural changes to property taxes to make sure that we're not over taxing people and we're not kicking anybody out,” said Governor Gianforte. “So we did a couple of things during this last (legislative) session. One is we put $120 million into permanent property tax relief that'll be ongoing, and we dramatically expanded property tax relief for people on fixed income because no one should have to leave their home because of property taxes.”

Democrat Spokesperson called Governor's Stand on Property Taxes 'Malarkey'

On the topic of property taxes, State Democratic Party Chair Robyn Driscoll called the governor out on the topic.

“In 1994, Montana property owners paid 38 percent of property taxes,” began Driscoll. “Now in 2023, they'll pay 52 percent, and Governor Gianforte just kept repeating his same talking points. You know that this is local government's fault. It's not the state's fault, which is I think most of us know is malarkey.”

Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen referenced a lawsuit by international law firm Perkins Coie over the issue of Montana’s mandatory Voter ID law, even though she said no single individual was harmed by the law.

Secretary of State Jacobsen Talked about Montana's Voter ID Law

“I'll give you an example on the voter ID case,” began Jacobsen. “The voter ID law was in effect in the 2022 midterm election, and there was not one college student that was not able to vote due to that law. However, the plaintiffs, the Clinton law firm (of Perkins Coie), claimed that it was voter suppression and I was out to harm college students from being able to vote.”

Also on Tuesday’s Talk Back show briefly was State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing who was asked about his recent announcement that he is running for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Click here to listen to the entire two hours of Tuesday’s Talk Back show.

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