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Surprise! Another Tax Bill For Missoula

Missoula County Residents Face Unusual Property Tax Scenario: Second Bills Arrive Amidst Legal Dispute

Missoula County homeowners are grappling with unexpected property tax bills, a consequence of a legal battle impacting tax assessments. Following last year's high property appraisals, a second round of amended tax bills has been dispatched, marking an unusual occurrence according to Missoula County Clerk and Treasurer Tyler Gernant.

The issue stems from a lawsuit involving Missoula County and 48 others against the state, contesting the requisite number of mills due to inflation. Although inflation had reduced the necessary mills to approximately 77.5, the Governor's Office and Montana Department of Revenue insisted on the full 95 mills.

"The Supreme Court ultimately sided with the Governor's Office and the Department of Revenue and said yes, counties, you must levy the full 95 mills," stated Gernant. However, this decision arrived after many counties, including Missoula, had already sent out tax bills reflecting the reduced millage.

Consequently, Missoula County officials had to issue amended bills to recoup the shortfall. Despite being aware of the change since November, they opted against sending warning letters to homeowners, citing cost concerns.

Affected residents, particularly those with escrow accounts, have been advised not to worry immediately, as the additional costs will be integrated into their new mortgage. However, for others, payment is due by May 31, 2024, with the option for an extension until June 20 for those enrolled in tax assistance programs.

The extra revenue collected will not translate into additional funds for Missoula County Public Schools, as it forms part of state equalization funds redistributed evenly among public school districts.

While renters may not feel the immediate impact, higher property appraisals are likely to result in future rent hikes.

Numerous questions have arisen regarding the tax bills, prompting the County to issue responses to FAQs. Homeowners are encouraged to direct further queries to the Missoula County Clerk and Treasurer’s Office.

Despite the challenges posed by this unexpected tax situation, residents are advised to adhere to the due dates stipulated on their bills and seek clarification if needed.


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