The Legislature has refused to consider property tax reform or reappraisal in the current legislative session. Bills sponsored by Flathead and Lake County senators and representatives have been blocked and the legislature is ignoring the basic tax inequities of HB 658: 1.) The over-appraised values in 2008 reappraisal, 2.) Unnecessary tax liability increases for about half of the residential owners just to offset tax liability decreases of the remainder, 3) Tax burden shift to growth areas and a small group of owners called “outliers” and, 4) large, unnecessary tax increases that force long time Montana residents to sell their homes. Our governor has distanced himself from our plight. The Legislature shows no compassion for our people and continues to ignore the Constitution requirement to provide equal protection for all Montanans.

Residents in Flathead, Lake, and Missoula Counties have decided “Enough is enough!!”. We have organized, Montana Residents for Fair Property Tax (MRFPT), retained the law firm of Kalvig and LeDuc and plan to bring suit against the Legislature after it is definite no meaningful changes to the Montana property tax system are forthcoming.

Gallatin, Beaverhead, Madison and Park Counties have above state average increases in both residential and commercial properties, so your owners are in the same boat as we are. We invite you to join with us to end the unjust treatment of our owners and give all Montana a simple, predictable property tax system. Please go to Montana Residents for Fair property Tax, mtproptax.org, sign up for updates and send your contribution to MRFPT, P.O. Box 4404, Whitefish, Mt 59937. Questions? Call Dud Mahler at (406) 862-9785 or email dmahler@centurytel.net.

One last item, the refusal to reappraise is going to seriously affect Beaver, Gallatin, Madison and Park County (Montana Economic Area 85 of the Almy, Gloudemans, Jacobs and Denne Ratio Study Analysis). This analysis shows that Economic Area 85 has experienced a decrease in residential property value of 22.4% from July 07 –June 10. I suggest that this number will increase significantly over the next four years and means that your property owners will be paying more tax than is required because of the latency of the phased in market values.

– Dud Mahler, Montana Residents for Fair Property Tax, Whitefish