Gov. Steve Bullock fired another shot at his Republican challenger on Monday, announcing that he would ask the Legislature to put a referendum before voters to ban a statewide sales tax.

“Montanans have spoken for 40 some years now that a sales tax isn’t a good idea,” Bullock said at a campaign event at the office of Missoula’s UPTOP clothing company. “Let’s end the debate on a statewide sales tax for good.”

Montana is one of five states without a statewide sales tax. Democrats have opposed such a tax because it is regressive, meaning the poorest residents pay a disproportionate share. Some Republicans who generally oppose new taxes also do not support a sales tax, although some say they would prefer it if income, property and capital gains taxes could be restructured to make up for the lost revenue. In 1971 and 1993, Montana voters overwhelmingly opposed ballot measures that sought to enact a sales tax.

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