Reading Betty J. Barrett's letter in this morning's paper, Oct. 5, "Be wary of candidates pushing for state sales tax," I am again dumbfounded by the narrow mindedness of some Montana residents.

Why do we let millions of dollars slip away each year and watch as our property taxes continue to rise. I'm speaking to the approximately $311.5 million dollars which would have been collected by a 2% sales tax on travel spending by non-residents in just the past five years, and this figure is in on the low end of the spectrum and based on figures published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

If I were looking at candidates I would be looking at those with enough wisdom to garner those dollars and enough common sense to utilize this cash cow for the benefit of Montana taxpayers. We are going to pay taxes, that is a given. Wouldn't it be nice to have the tourists help us foot the bill?

Have you been to Hawaii? Hopefully you paid attention to any bills you paid and the taxes which were part of your bill. Tourism is an industry there as it is here. Without the taxes paid by the tourists, the average resident's property taxes would be much greater. Perhaps when you go to the polls you'll think twice about those candidates who do support a state sales tax. I would also be sure they have their ducks in a row as to how they would manage the "new found wealth."

George McDowell

Bozeman