Montana attorney says changes to tax initiative unnecessary

HELENA (AP) — An attorney for Montana says the changes that an anti-tax group wants to make to a ballot initiative to raise the state’s tobacco tax are minor and unnecessary.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion writes Monday to the state Supreme Court that Montanans Against Tax Hikes appears to want the language and information of its own choosing to appear before voters.

The tobacco industry-funded group’s lawsuit asks the court to re-word the ballot statement of the measure that would raise the tobacco tax to help pay for Medicaid expansion and other health programs.

The group claims the ballot statement is prejudicial, incorrect and will cause confusion.

Bennion says the wording is clear and the group hasn’t shown any need to revise the measure just weeks before ballots are printed.

The court did not make an immediate ruling.