The Missoula City Council passed a resolution that may help some citizen’s deal with rising property taxes. Missoula City Councilwoman Julie Armstrong says anyone who currently qualifies for a state tax-relief subsidy can submit an application for the new tax relief fund.

“If you’re qualified for any of those programs and you show us that letter, you are automatically qualified for 25 percent off the city tax bill,” said Armstrong. “This is a first come first served fund. It is donation based. All the donations are tax deductible. We will collect donations for the first 6th months of 2017 and we will start taking applications July 1st of 2017.”

Armstrong is the main backer of the tax relief fund, and says she was motivated to pursue it after hearing complaints about high taxes in her ward.

“We have a rather large population of seniors and folks that are over 60 and most of them are all on fixed incomes,” Armstrong said. “A lot of them own their homes, which means they’re not escrowing their taxes every month. It is not that they don’t support bond issues, but every time they get passed that is just a much larger check they have to write at the end of the year for their property taxes. A lot of them do not have the income to support that and it is a true hardship.”

Armstrong believes this is the only tax relief fund of its kind in Montana and she modeled it off of a program used in a Massachusetts town.

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