Your Missoula County tax bill will rise slightly for 2021, says County Commission Chair Josh Slotnick.

Just before the public hearing to go over the 2021 county budget that will set taxes for Missoula County residents, Slotnick provided a preview for KGVO listeners and website viewers.

He said special measures are being taken to provide extra services for those most affected by COVID 19.

What we're looking at right now in terms of costs would be that county taxes would go up by, I think it's $14.10 cents a year on a $300,000 to $350,000 house, and that's well under a buck 50 a month.

“We found that the pandemic is affecting some people much more so than others, and so we're really trying to make sure we meet the needs of the people who are most adversely affected,” said Slotnick. “Everybody's affected but especially for those most adversely affected.”

The county anticipates approximately $3.4 million in COVID-19-related expenses in fiscal year 2021. The county expects these expenses, which include operation of the county testing clinic, emergency operations center, non-congregate shelter and call center, to be reimbursable through CARES Act funding.  No tax increase is included in the proposed final budget to fund these COVID-19 expenses.

Slotnick said taxes on country residences will rise slightly in 2021.

“What we're looking at right now in terms of costs would be that county taxes would go up by, I think it's $14.10 cents a year on a $300,000 to $350,000 house, and that's well under a buck 50 a month. In addition, that's not just for the new stuff, that's also making sure we can do things like keep the roads repaired and the sheriff's department afloat, and rural fire and all these other things, too.”

Slotnick said the recently passed two cents per gallon gas tax will enable the county to keep a lid on county road costs.

“What we did do is we didn't add any money to the road fund from property taxes, imagining that we could make up for any new increases in building new pavement and the time and materials that takes to keep our roads in good shape, we're going to cover all that new costs with gas tax,” he said. “This coming year, imagining we're still going to be in this pandemic for a while, we'll keep a close eye on how much that raises, and then going into the following year we'll be able to adjust accordingly.”

The commissioners will consider any additional public comment before voting to adopt the final budget during their administrative meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8.

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