Gov. Pete Ricketts says his budget proposal is sound, his administration will fulfill the will of the voters on Medicaid, and he is listening the proposals from lawmakers on property tax relief.
Ricketts says his administration is working toward an April first deadline to submit Medicaid expansion to the federal government, but the governor cautions it is a complicated and lengthy process.
“So, I can’t give you a specific timeline, because we have not completed all of our plans, but I would expect it will be next calendar year before Medicaid expansion gets rolled out,” Ricketts says.
Ricketts proposes a three-prong approach to property tax relief.
He proposes adding $102 million to the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund over the two years of the biennium budget. Second, he wants to establish a floor for the fund of $275 million. Lastly, the governor wants the legislature to approve and put to a vote of the people a constitutional amendment which would prohibit local governments from raising property tax rates by more than 3% annually.
Left out of his proposal is the major property tax relief proposals the governor proposed the past few years, which could never get the votes needed to overcome a legislative filibuster.
Ricketts says he will wait to hear from legislators about their proposals to reduce the burden of property taxes.
“So, again, I’m going to let the senators go through their process with regard to what they’re going to propose to the Revenue Committee,” Ricketts tells reporters. “Let that committee do its deliberation and then come back with regard to what that looks like and we’ll continue to work with senators on what some of those ideas might be.”
The governor has submitted his budget to the legislature. It now goes to the Appropriations Committee which will consider revisions to present to the full legislature.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]