MBPC Finds Property Tax Mitigation Bill Wanting

“Reappraisal Bill Draws More Critics than Backers,” Helena Independent Record, March 24, 2009.

“It makes an already very, very complicated area of our tax system even more complicated,” said Tara Veazey of the Montana Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit. She favors the large circuit-breaker approach advocated by Kaufmann.

Under Montana’s current system, Veazey said households with annual incomes of $20,000 or less pay at least 6.7 percent of their incomes on property taxes in Montana. In contrast, she said, households with annual incomes of at least $120,000 annually pay just 1 percent to 1.5 percent of their income in property taxes.

She criticized HB658 for keeping the current 34 percent homestead exemption that removes from taxation the first 34 percent of the market value of a residential property. An out-of-state resident whose fourth $10 million home is on Flathead or Whitefish Lake would still get a $3.4 million exemption, she said.”