Commissioner Rick Tryon’s support of an upcoming “Safety Levy” seems to be wavering. In a recent article on his rightwing blog, E City Beat, Tryon attempted to downplay his prior support for the levy, which could result in a tax increase of 191% for Great Falls taxpayers. Instead, Tryon characterized the potential tax increase as a “rumor” in need of debunking.
However, the video and minutes from the Great Falls City Commission’s November 15, 2022 work session tells a very different story. At this session, the Commission was presented with three different options for the levy. These were characterized as “Good” “Better” and “Best.” The “Best” option would require a 191% tax increase, and this is the package the Commission unanimously agreed to explore further.
Although Tryon may feign amnesia now, these meetings are recorded. Around the 46-minute mark, Tryon discusses the option he supports. He states, “The Best is actually, the 33-36, to me, just at first blush, appears to be the bare minimum of what we need to do here.” Tryon, and all other members of the Commission, made clear that they support the “Best” package.
And that potential 191% tax increase? It’s certainly not a myth, and it’s likely only the beginning of a huge increase in spending. Tryon states that he expects the total costs to be more than what’s estimated. In the video we hear Tryon say, “I would agree with Commissioner McKinney that we may have been a little bit low-bidding some of this and we may have to think in terms of, ya know, bringing it up a little bit here.”
Taking a page from the ol’ Republican playbook, Tryon is saying one thing in meetings, and another when he’s met with resistance from the community. Don’t be fooled by these mixed messages. Tryon is fully aware of what option the Commission is exploring moving forward, and it’s the one with the HUGE tax increase.
Don’t believe us? Take it from the meeting minutes themselves, which state, “It was the consensus of the Commission that Deputy City Manager Anderson determine definite amounts for the “Best” option.”
Not a “myth.”
Not a “rumor.”
This is what we call a “public record.”
You can view the meeting minutes here: https://greatfallsmt.net/sites/default/files/fileattachments/city_commission/meeting/260075/111522_ws_min.pdf
You can view the video of the meeting here: