I’ll admit that I’m rather surprised that both the police and the mill levies failed. There are very few things that taxes should properly be spent on, and those few things include the military, the courts, and police and public safety. I really thought that the police levy would pass; wasn’t sure about the fire levy.
But as noted over at GeeGuy’s, part of the reason that the levies failed might have something to do with the current anti-tax, anti-government movement (which will, I think, continue to grow). It’s also possible that the SME/Highwood stuff influenced some folks to vote against higher taxes, perhaps even reluctantly. UPDATE: GFGirl has a poll asking people why they think the levies failed.
And by the way: in my first few years in Montana, when I heard the phrase “mill levy,” I was baffled. I didn’t understand what “mills” had to do with, well, much of anything. I figured it had something to do with iron mills, or maybe with waterways. Silly me. It was only last year, when the school funding mill levy came up, that I learned that a “mill levy” is basically just a fancy phrase for “property tax.”