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Montana Dept. of Revenue Settles Tax Dispute With Verizon, Sends $10. 5 Million back

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The Montana Department of Revenue and cell phone service provider Verizon have reached a settlement over 32.8 Million dollars of contested taxes. Montana requested Verizon to pay 47 million dollars in property taxes between 2009 and 2012, but they only paid 32.8 million and protested that amount. Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for the MT Dept. of Revenue, Dan White says the disagreement was complicated.

“The main dispute was over what’s known as intangible personal property. So, while they didn’t dispute a lot of the property that we value, the intangible personal property is things like licenses, franchise fees, contracts not to compete, all of these things that are a little harder to put a quantifiable value on.”

The settlement ended with Montana sending nearly 11 million dollars back to Verizon.

“In order to bring some resolution to the case and allow for protests and taxes to be released to the counties and other local governments, we entered into a settlement with Verizon. Of the protested taxes, Verizon will pay a little over $22 million and they’ll receive a refund of $10.5 million.”

White said that the length and the outcome of the full lawsuit was uncertain, and that even though a settlement has been reached in this case, the proper valuation of intangible property taxes in future cases will likely be difficult.


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