Our View: Hi-Line darts and laurels, May 9, 2014
May 9, 2014
Laurel — Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers will be adding to their duties Saturday. At post offices in Havre and throughout the Hi-Line, they will join colleagues around the nation in the Stamp Out Hunger campaign. People are asked to put out nonperishable food items for the carriers to pick up. The food will be sent to the Havre Food Bank, where it will help feed those down on their luck. It’s a great campaign. Take part by leaving some food.
Laurel — The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce is offering its annual Stay-cation contest. It’s a great idea. The winner will get free tickets to all kinds of local attractions. There are lots of interesting things to do in Havre. It’s great that somebody will get a chance to take part in so many of them. And the program is a reminder for the rest of us that even if we don’t win the contest, there are lots of attractions that we may never have seen. Take some time out and see what Havre has to offer. You’ll be surprised. Even if you’ve lived her your whole life.
Dart — Charter Communications, which provides cable TV, Internet and phone service to the area, is upset at the state of Montana. The state has figured out that Charter ought to be paying more taxes. The state used to charge 3 percent for cable television services, but it went up to 6 percent when it was determined that Charter and its predecessor companies were really telecommunications companies. So Charter’s annual tax bill went up from $1.7 million to $7.3 million. Now, Charter is circulating petitions to hold an initiative vote to overturn the Montana Supreme Court, which upheld the state's tax formula. It won’t matter to Charter’s shareholders. If the state’s decision stands, they will pass the cost on to ratepayers. But if the decision is overturned, Montana taxpayers will have to pick up the difference. We don’t think voters will like the idea of paying higher taxes so Charter can lower its tax bill.
Laurel — The Hi-Line Tavern Association holds an annual putt-putt contest that is always successful. This year, they raised $1,300. Half of that went to local Masons for the benefit of Shriners Hospitals for Children. The other half to Havre's Salvation Army. Both are great organizations. They are getting funds for a group that does a lot of good things for this community.