Posted: Oct 23, 2012 6:24 PM by Cristy Aranguiz - KPAX News
Updated: Oct 24, 2012 7:34 AM
MISSOULA- Democrats and Republicans came together to listen to the gubernatorial candidates discuss where they stand on tourism issues just two weeks before Election Day.
Candidates Rick Hill, a Republican, and Democratic Attorney General Steve Bullock responded to panel questions about the travel and tourism industries and small business creation, and about 150 people from various tourism and business associations came to witness the discussion.
The candidates discussed where they stand on the lodging tax, how they plan to help create more jobs, their opinions on combating climate change, and how to bring more tourists into the state.
"Ninety-thousand Montanans rely on tourism for their jobs and so this is an important industry. We wanted to let them know that we're willing to work with them to help expand tourism opportunities in Montana, but even more importantly how we can help them lower their cost through property tax relief and other items so they can be more competitive," Hill said.
Bullock said he'd "do more" to make sure average Montanans can create jobs. "We have a business equipment tax cut for 11,000 small Montana businesses, $400 tax homeowner rebates," he said. "Jobs of the future and other possibilities like small businesses: we can help create them," Bullock told the crowd.
Voices of Montana Tourism report that one in 13 Montana jobs are created directly by out-of-state tourism.
The Montana Television Network will air a debate between Hill and Bullock when they will go head to head to show why they should be Montana's next leader. The debate will air at 9 p.m. on Saturday, both on air and online.