Tryon Doubles Down on Double-Digit Tax Increase

Tryon Doubles Down on Double-Digit Tax Increase

Tryon has long championed the proposed safety levy, despite its astronomical price tag. When first presented with tier options for the  levy, Tryon vocally supported the largest price tag, coming out to about a 191% property tax increase. Having angered Republicans and Democrats alike, Tryon tried to walk back his big-tax dreams, instead opting for the current version of the safety levy.

The proposed safety levy includes a massive tax increase for property owners. The City Commission settled on a whopping 65% property tax increase, and sent that proposal to the ballot. They also authorized spending $150,000 of OUR tax money to convince voters to support the levy.

Technically the city commission is non-partisan. Although that may be the structure of the race, it’s quite laughable to act as if the political affiliations of our commissioners aren’t already known. Tryon is a Republican-supposedly the party of “small government.” So how does Tryon’s attempt to raise our property taxes 65% align with the Republican party’s platform? 

Combined with the state’s alarming new property tax valuations and the deepening housing crisis in Great Falls, residents are being priced out of their homes. Poverty and housing issues undoubtedly affect crime rates. Passing the safety levy could, in fact, worsen crime in Great Falls. As WTF406 has previously reported, research shows that increasing police budgets doesn’t decrease serious crime. Tryon expresses no understanding that the safety levy does nothing to combat addiction. If we want to decrease crime in Great Falls, folks need access to substance use treatment and mental health centers. The safety levy doesn’t provide those resources, or do anything to prevent crime. Instead of identifying and funding real solutions, the City Commission is asking voters to approve a huge tax increase in the moment we can least afford it.

As Tryon seeks re-election, will his high tax policies effect his popularity with Republicans? What’s happened to the “tighten-your-belts” narrative that Tryon and his party ascribe to?

Has Tryon and his tax increase finally become too extreme for Great Falls Republicans? The answer will likely determine if you can afford to pay your taxes next year.

Read our previous evaluation of the safety levy here:


They Got the Gold Mine, We Get the Shaft

They Got the Gold Mine, We Get the Shaft

A new web-based calculator lets you figure out how much your property tax is going up and how much the property tax for big corporations are going down thanks to the Republican Legislature and the Gianforte administration. 

There is lots of misinformation floating around about what is happening to residential property tax bills.  Most of it is coming from Republicans in the legislature and the Gianforte Administration trying to shift the blame for what happened during the last legislative session.  Here is an editorial we ran explaining what happened and why our property taxes are going up.

Now you can see exactly how much your property taxes are going up and, even more important, how much the taxes for other classes of property are going down.  Below is an example of a house in Anaconda.  You can get the same information about your home by going to  Check it out!  

More from Randy’s World 

More from Randy’s World 

Last September, Public Service Commissioner Randy Pinocci  said that Misssoula should be targeted for “brownouts”.  In a speech calling for Republican elected officials to “flex their political muscle,” Pinocci requested that PSC staff figure out if reductions of power in the grid could be targeted to specific communities.  Apparently, Pinocci was responding to citizen protests against NorthWestern Energy.

Last August, Pinocci issued a bogus blackout warning. Pinocci and one other Public Service Commissioner issued a statement which said, “the probable lack of energy leading to ‘rolling blackouts’ in eastern Montana this summer as well as frighteningly real possibilities of hugely inadequate shortages in Montana in winter.” Turned out the whole thing was bogus.  The PSC staff was forced to point out that the full Public Service Commission did not support Pinocci’s statement.

In 2020, Pinocci went on the  far-right Northwest Liberty News webcast and said he was concerned about fellow Public Service Commissioner Roger Koopman  bringing a gun to the office.  Koopman denied the allegation.

Also in 2020, Pinocci apparently hacked into a fellow PSC commissioner’s e-mail account and put together a story which he then shopped to media outlets.  When The Billings Gazette refused to publish the story, Pinoccci went to Northwest  Liberty News which published a story under the headline, “Terror in Helena! ‘I’m afraid that Roger Koopman will bring a gun to work and shoot me. . . .”

At a speech in Havre In March 2022, Pinocci called for regulation of social media to control “anti-conservative” bias.  He went on to compare  the supposed oppression of conservatives to the oppression of Black Americans under Jim Crow.

In 2016,  when he was a legislator, Pinocci called for the jailing of journalists after the Fairfield Sun Times refused to publish an editorial he wrote on gun rights saying, “. . .maybe after we put a few of these idiots in jail we can get better reporting.”

Pinocci has quite a record of expressing extreme views, and there is a lot more than we have listed above.  But perhaps the most disconcerting thing about Pinocci and the Cascade County Republicans is their corruption. It is worth noting that two of Pinocci’s family members were recently hired by the new Clerk and Recorder and election denier Sandra Merchant.  

Other elected Republicans are also involved in suspect situations. Legislators Steven and Lola Galloway are leasing a big building they own to the state Motor Vehicle Division whose budget they oversee as legislators.  (WTF406 filed an information request with the state asking for information on the bidding process for the lease more than two months ago). Speaking of the Galloways, many of Steven Galloway’s bills at the legislature promoted his business interests as a landlord in Great Falls.  Then there is the whole saga of Senator Jeremy Trebas’ attempt to change state law to enrich his real estate deals.

And let’s not forget Representative Steve Gist, and the fact that his primary residence and place of business appears to be in Flathead County not Cascade County, where he is supposed to be our representative.



More Republican Police Blotter (Can You Believe It?)

More Republican Police Blotter (Can You Believe It?)

On Wednesday,Sept 6th, Public Service Commissioner Randy Pinocci was arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court to respond to a ticket for disorderly conduct he received in an incident on July 5.

Pinocci was issued the citation for “quarreling, challenging to fight, or fighting, namely by getting in (alleged victim’s) face and bumping chests during an argument and yelling.” In typical Pinocci style, he said he was unfairly accused and pointed out that he is too fat to bump chests with anyone, because his belly is too big.  (Really! Can’t wait to see if he does a reenactment if he goes to trial.)

Not surprisingly, Pinocci says he did nothing wrong and the whole thing is a big mistake.  His lawyer, Ben Reed of Helena, explained that Pinocci failed to appear in court, as requested twice, because he was at scheduled meetings with constituents.  KT

For the full story:

Randy would like us all to think that he was so busy doing his job that he couldn’t make a court appearance. is well acquainted with how hard Pinocci works.  We published this photo of him “representing his constituents” in a hearing before the PSC back in April 2022.