New tax assessments hit Granite County residents hard, meeting slated for July 11
GRANITE COUNTY – Property owners around the state received their 2023 property tax revenue assessments this month, with many getting sticker shock at the jump in the valuations.
Property values have skyrocketed across the state, with some counties seeing an increase of over 80%. One source indicated that Granite County may be the second highest change in the state at some 68%.
The Montana Department of Revenue (MDR) has scheduled a series of meetings across the state to address this issue in both virtual and in-person formats.
In Granite County there is a meeting scheduled for July 11, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the Granite County Museum. This meeting will be one of eight scheduled around the state that night.
There are also four virtual meetings that will be held via Zoom, with the first on July 6 and beginning at noon. Connection information for that meeting can be found on the MDR website by clicking HERE.
The Flint Creek Courier is mobilizing to broadcast the Philipsburg meeting live on its two Facebook pages (Flint Creek Courier and Granite County Events) as well as it’s YouTube channel. The latter will allow viewers with a Roku or SmartTV to view the meeting from their home or portable devices.
Montana Department of Revenue
RE: 2023-2024 Property Tax Assessments
July 11, 2023 @ 6 p.m.
Granite County Museum
Live stream by the Flint Creek Courier
on Facebook & YouTube
What the heck happened?
It’s the questions that a lot of us are asking. With rumors that some valuations have increased as much as four times their 2021 statement, property owners are scrambling to cope with the coming tax bills that will arrive this fall.
In speaking with former employees of the department of revenue, the increases are coming in large part due to the massive land grab that happened during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. As people tried to escape the densely populated cities, places like Montana became a haven for those with cash in hand to purchase property at exorbitant prices. While those selling the land made off with millions, the sales raised the economic water table for everyone still living under the Big Sky.
The properties that were sold during that boom period are now what a current resident is being compared against, with the state making the assumption that all similar properties going forward would sell at that same price.
What can be done?
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.
The good news is you can appeal your property’s new assessment through the county and state, and if need be via a law suit.
The bad news is that the appeals process is going to take a lot more than just you saying what your property is worth.
In other words, you’re going to have to do some work.
The first step is to get a form AB-26 from the state of Montana Department of Revenue. You can do so by clicking HEREor picking one up at the Granite County Courthouse. This form allows you to begin the process of appealing your property’s new valuation before the 2023-2024 tax year is finalized.
The AB-26 Form needs to be filed with the Granite County Clerk and Recorder within 30 days of the date of your tax assessment notice.
But to do this you’ll have to prove that the comparable properties being used in your assessment aren’t, well, all that comparable. You’ll have to show that things like the location, amenities, views and an array of other details don’t really match up with what’s being used to create your new assessed value.
Those comparison properties can be collected from the MDR, but you’ll be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
Once you have all that in hand you’ll start by making your case in front of the Granite County Tax Appeal Board. This three-member panel is appointed by the Granite County Commissioners and all three have their term expiring in 2024.
More information on the Granite County Tax Appeal Board and its process can be found by clicking HERE.
If you don’t like the outcome there, you can appeal it to the MDR. If all else fails, you also have the right to file a law suit in district court within 90 days of your assessment’s date.