State to Sue Missoula County for Reducing Mills for Property Tax
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The uproar over skyrocketing property taxes due to revaluation is headed to the courts, as KGVO News learned from Missoula County Commissioner Josh Slotnick that the State of Montana is suing Missoula County for reducing the number of mills from 95 to 77.89 that they will send to the state treasury.
State to Sue Missoula County over Property Tax Payment
“Missoula County has joined with what will ultimately be 50-plus counties across the state,” began Slotnick. “This is not just Missoula County. 50-plus counties across the state are passing a resolution saying that we're going to forward on to the state 77.89 mills of the 95 mills that the state has requested.”
Slotnick said over 50 of the 56 counties in the state are planning to send in the lower amount of mills to save property taxpayers dollars.
Slotnick said 50-plus Counties plan to Send in Less Money to the State
“50-plus counties and Missoula County are passing a resolution saying we're going to send on to the state 77.89 mills, not 95 mills. “If we were to send on 95 mills, this would bring to the state an additional a new $80 million, and we don't believe taxpayers should be on the hook for that. We're in a very unusual situation here where we see a Republican governor suing Democratic county commissioners so he can raise property taxes.”
Slotnick emphasized the point that Governor Gianforte and the State of Montana have targeted only Missoula out of all the other counties in this lawsuit.
“He is suing Missoula County,” he said. “50 counties are doing this, but he's chosen to sue Missoula County. We're doing the exact same thing as all the other counties; the same resolution. The governor is a smart guy and he's very strategic I can't believe he would be doing this for any reason that wouldn't be strategic. We haven't even passed the resolution yet. We're having a hearing on it on Thursday. Flathead County's already done it along with Custer County, Fergus County, and these are not blue (Democrat) counties.”
Slotnick Claims the State of Overtaxing Montana Property Owners
Slotnick claimed the state is overtaxing the property owners of Montana by not reducing the mills from 95 to 77.89.
“At the end of this year, the state will have a $700 million surplus,” he said. “They have overtaxed and that 95 mills should be, I believe, and we all these 50-plus counties, not just the Missoula Democratic County but 50-plus counties, including rural counties across the state, believe that this is a burden on taxpayers, that they shouldn't have to pay that. The 95 mills are actually equivalent to 77.89 when they're adjusted according to inflation and the bill cap as the way all property taxes are.”
KGVO News has reached out to Governor Gianforte’s office about the lawsuit and to get a response regarding the plan for counties to send in 77.89 as opposed to 95 mills.
PHOTOS: 15 of Missoula's Most Interesting Homes
Gallery Credit: Ashley