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Early results show voters split on ballot measures

Decision 2018

Early results show voters approve of two of the four measures on the 2018 ballot.

The 6-Mill Levy, Initiative 185, Initiative 186 and Referendum 129 were all up for vote this election cycle, with the levy and Referendum 129 receiving early backing from voters.

The 6-Mill Levy is a property tax that provides funding for the Montana University System. The levy is nothing new -- it’s been approved every time it’s come up for a vote since 1948. It’s a 12-cent tax on every $1,000 in property value, and during the 2017 fiscal year it generated $19 million for state schools.

Early results show the 6-Mill Levy has 61 percent voter approval. If it’s approved it’ll remain in effect for the next 10 years.

Voters aren’t backing Initiative 185, according to early results. The initiative extends Medicaid expansion past July 2019 and calls for a tax increase on tobacco products to cover the cost.

If it’s approved, it’ll raise the tax on cigarettes to $3.70 -- one of the highest in the country.

If it’s not approved, expansion of Medicaid will stop in July 2019, and the tobacco product tax increase won’t be necessary.

Initiative 186 requires the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to deny permits for new hardrock mines if they don’t have a plan to prevent water pollution without perpetual treatment. Early results show voters don’t approve.

If Initiative 186 isn’t approved, the requirements for mining will remain unchanged.

Early results show that Referendum 129 has voter approval. The referendum bans certain people from collecting and delivering ballots. There are exceptions for election officials, postal service workers, caregivers, family members, household members and acquaintances.

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