Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Letters to the editor April 18

| April 18, 2023 12:00 AM

IRS agents

Tax season is almost over, but the IRS is here to stay.

This year I had the freedom to choose where I did my taxes. Like most Americans, I invested a lot of time making sure my taxes were correct. Next year, however, the Biden Administration wants to strip me of choice to prepare my own taxes or to use a professional preparer. The Biden plan is to turn all of these responsibilities over to IRS agents.

If this plan succeeds, even more of my confidential financial information becomes IRS property. The agency is constantly being targeted and has failed to keep taxpayers safe. The IRS failed on numerous occasions to disclose to taxpayers that they had been breached because the agency failed to upgrade security systems. To make matters worse: the IRS leaked taxpayer information on their website and failed to quickly respond.

Right now, Rep. Matt Rosendale and Sen. Steve Daines are pushing back on the Biden Administrations IRS expansion plan. Sen. Jon Tester needs to step up to the plate and put D.C. Democrats aside. This isn’t a partisan issue. Montana’s privacy and freedom comes before partisan lines, Senator.

— Rep. Braxton Mitchell, R-Columbia Falls

Coaster questions

I want to second the concerns and questions asked by Lana Batts in her letter of April 11 on the mountain coaster in Lakeside. No one in Lakeside has seen the final Montana Department of Transportation plans for U.S. 93 and the need for a northbound, left turn lane.

We have to wonder if the Flathead County Commissioners have? Were they consulted by the MDT as required by Montana code? Are they comfortable with the plan? Are they comfortable with the coaster opening before the turn lane is completed?

Has the Flathead County Sheriff seen the plan? Is he comfortable with the plan? Does he have enough deputies to handle the construction? Does he have enough deputies to handle the inevitable accidents that I believe will happen?

Have the local emergency responders seen the plan? Are they comfortable they will still get to crash sites and emergency calls during construction and after? What are their back up plans when the only artery out of Lakeside is blocked? Does the Alert helicopter have enough capacity to airlift everyone?

And finally, the MDT told the Flathead County commissioners in August last year that the coaster would not be allowed to open until the turn lane was installed. What changed? If the MDT property adjacent to the amusement park property goes up for sale, will the process be transparent, and has MDT considered where future staging locations will be for U.S. 93 construction?

If the answer is no to anyone of these questions, then the MDT needs to table the agenda item at their April 20 meeting and move the hearing to Lakeside. They need to have these questions answered. The citizens of Lakeside want answers.Why the rush?

— Derek Young, Lakeside