GREAT FALLS — When the Department of Revenue issued Property Tax Assessment forms to all property owners throughout the state, the response to what owners said was shocking. A near 40-50% increase in property valuation is what property owners found, insight of panic, “How do we afford this?” or “I haven’t renovated my house in 40 years!"
According to Montana House District 26 Republican George Nikolakakos, the significant increase in taxes found on property owners' assessment forms does not mean your taxes will go up. It values the assessment of the previous year’s mills.
“I do believe it was a mistake on our part in the in the legislature — to not just the fact the law requires a dealer to put the tax amount in there based on the old mills, which causes a lot of confusion for people,” he said. “What's important to remember is that the market value of the home is not what's based on taxes, even though by law, the Department of Revenue is required to have a projected tax number on them. That's based on last year's mill rates.”
The Department of Revenue reevaluates properties every two years and uses the simplest criteria for any new addition to a home or property.
Nikolakakos is the sponsor of Montana House Bill 189, “An act revising the Property Tax Assistance Program…”
“It used to be $200,000, but now your first $350,000 of home value applies for a property tax discount. That applies if you meet a certain income qualification, which is a little under $40,000. So, you can get anywhere from a 20 to 80% discount on your taxes by applying for PTAP or the Property Tax Assistance program.”
The act applies to property tax years beginning after December 31, 2023.
The PTAP or Property Tax Assistance Program is offered through the Department of Revenue, in Montana HB 189, linked above you can find the income requirements of property owners.
Bryce Kaatz is the Bureau Chief for the Property Assessment Division and says the deadline for this program is 30 days after the notice is mailed to a property owner under the statute.
“If you wait until October when you receive your tax bill and then decide to apply for the Property Tax Assistance Program, we would only be able to evaluate your eligibility and qualify for grant benefit for you for the 2024 year.”
The Department of Revenue only offers a few Property Tax relief programs including:
- Montana Disabled Veterans
- Intangible Land Value Property Tax Assistance Program
- Elderly Homeowner Renter Credit – Income Tax Credit
Montana Department of Revenue also offers Property Tax Rebates the application period opens in August, find the link here.
For more information contact the Great Falls Branch of the Department of Revenue at 406-454-7460
Find the Montana Department of Revenue website at https://mtrevenue.gov/.
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