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Data Shows Missoula Property Taxes “Significantly Higher” Than Other Montana Cities

New numbers by the Montana Taxpayers Association show that one city in the state taxes its citizen’s property far more than the rest.

“According to our information which we gather from the data that cities and counties send into us, Missoula has the highest mill levy at about 241 mills,” said Montana Taxpayer Association President Rob Story. “It is significantly higher [than the other large cities], the second highest mill levy is Great Falls at 193 and the lowest one is in Helena at 159.”

The number of mills paid by Missoulians is about 20 percent higher than the next closest city (Great Falls), but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The amount of dollars represented by each mill is also very high in Missoula

“While Missoula has a significantly higher mill levy, only Billings has a higher value to the mill. A mill in Missoula is about $110,000. Great Falls had the next highest mill total, but a mill in Great Falls only brings in about $78,000. So not only does Missoula have high millage, each mill brings in a significant amount of money.”

In 1947 the number of mills levied in Missoula was only 36.5, by the year 2000 the mill total jumped to 146. Last year, 2013, the city collected over 241 mills worth of taxes, the equivalent of over 26.5 million dollars.

For those still confused on what exactly a “mill” is, it is one tenth of one percent, or one thousandth. For example a property valued at $1,000 would pay $1 per mill in property taxes.

The following chart compares the mills levied by each major city in Montana except for Butte, whose consolidated government style makes it a bit of a different animal for comparison purposes:

  • Missoula 240.90 mills levied
  • Great Falls 193.57 mills levied
  • Kalispell 185.60 mills levied
  • Billings 174.78 mills levied
  • Bozeman 166.75 mills levied
  • Helena 159.20 mills levied

Rob Story:

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