One reason Missoula property taxes are so high
We have long been concerned about the local government removing tax paying properties from the tax rolls. This is a side effect of the mostly the city, but to some extent the county, purchasing or condemning property, which removes them from private ownership, where they pay property taxes, and converting them to city or county property that does not.
A little investigation using the public available tax data demonstrates how bad this has gotten in Missoula County. The City and the County hold $370.5 million in property value by parcels (which likely does not include the $140.4 million the city thought the water company was worth).
We wondered how this compares with other cities in Montana, so Gallatin County, being a roughly similar population, seemed like a reasonably fair comparison. Gallatin County has a few incorporated cities, so we added them all up. Gallatin County comes in at $33.4 million, less than a 10th of what Missoula County has done.
But WAIT, there is more. The city and the county are not the only ones who hold exempt properties. The State of Montana, the Federal government, churches, hospitals and abortion clinics, non-profit organizations, tribes, school districts, etc. also hold properties that are exempt or partially exempt. The astronomical total of exempt property is $1.45 BILLION ($949 million is NOT federal, state, or school district) and partially exempt is an additional $151.5 million.
This information indicates that the city and the county could do something about property taxes the rest of us pay by 1) selling their lands to private companies that pay tax and then stop doing that and 2) review everything that is getting an exemption to make sure that they meet the requirements for the exemption. Is the church being uses for a church? Is the school being used for the school? Does the non-profit justify the exemption?
Update on Redistricting
December 15, 8:30 am is the next redistricting working session. You may watch via webmeeting http://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00309/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20221214/-1/44931.
It’s an education, for sure.
The redistricting commission has been busy working out the state house and senate districts. Unfortunately, somehow in a state with 67% Republicans, Republicans are not fairing very well. Comments on the current proposal must be submitted by November 8. To leave your comments on the map online for the commission to consider, go here https://app.mydistricting.com/legdistricting/comments/plan/47/23 and click “add comment” on the right. Or submit a comment. Missoula County would be redistricted so that we would have ZERO house or senate seats that Republicans can win. Let’s try to be fair, keep the gerrymandering to a minimum, and avoid Missoula County redistricting “unduly favoring one party.” Among other things, they have gerrymandered Seeley Lake voters out of the county!
Why does John Lamb say things he knows will cost him votes?
Libertarian John Lamb is on the ballot for Montana Congressional District 1 running against Ryan Zinke and “with” Monica Tranel. At first, he was a mild mannered and nice enough guy on the campaign trail, but since has turned in to a vocal supporter of Tranel. This is because he was never a libertarian candidate. His purpose was always to peel the most right-leaning voters from Ryan Zinke. But he doesn’t want to peel votes from Tranel, even though some Libertarian positions align more with the Democrats than Republican. Do not be fooled by John Lamb. He is not a Libertarian, he might be a Democrat (see below), and he certainly is a spoiler. Libertarians are the reason we have Jon Tester in the Senate. Don’t make that mistake again.
Come see us at the The 67th Annual Original Missoula Gun Show, July 28 through 31
Garden Hilton Inn and Convention Center, 3720 North Reserve Street, Missoula, MT 59808
Hours: Fri 10-6, Sat 9-6, Sun 9-3
Admission: $7.00 per day
Stop by the Missoula Republicans booth at the Missoula gun show July 28th-31st, 2022. Find more information on our 2022 candidates and maybe even meet a few! AND purchase raffle tickets for our gun raffle! Raffle tickets are $20 each or 6 for $100.
Elections are not the only way to participate in local government
Now is the time to get involved in local government to make it a better place for people like you to live.
Missoula County Commissioners Seeking Applicants for Board Positions – Airport Board to Zoning, there is something for you.
The terms for 35 positions on Missoula County boards and committees expire Dec. 31, 2021. New applicants are encouraged to apply. Applications are available online. The deadline to submit applications is 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6. Follow the links below to find out more.
- Airport Authority Board
- Animal Control Board
- Aquatic Invasive Species District Board
- Bonner-Milltown Community Council
- East Missoula Community Council
- Florence-Carlton Cemetery Board
- Food Policy Advisory Board
- Historical Museum
- Impact Fee Advisory Committee
- Larchmont Golf Course Board
- Lolo Community Council
- Lolo Mosquito Control Board
- Missoula Consolidated Planning Board (MCPB)
- Missoula Urban Transportation District (MUTD)
- Open Lands Citizen Advisory Committee (OLC)
- Planning and Zoning Commission
- Weed Control Board
- Zoning Board of Adjustments
- Evaro-Finley O’Keefe Community Council
- Greenough Potomac Rural Fire Service Area
- Seeley Cemetery Board
- Swan Valley Community Council
- West Valley Community Council
Missoula County Budget
Following their preliminary budget hearing, the Missoula County commissioners are encouraging the public to provide feedback on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2022.
Review budget documents, which are posted online at http://missoula.co/budgets. In addition to commenting during public meetings, residents can comment by leaving the commissioners a voicemail at 406-258-4877, emailing, firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing comments to the Commissioners’ Office, 200 W. Broadway St. Missoula, MT 59802.
Update to Zoning Regs
Please review and comment on Missoula County’s proposed zoning regulations. Public meetings are scheduled, check the link below. The County didn’t provide a deadline, but the last public meeting is August 18.
In the County’s own words “Balancing the need for housing with protecting resources is one of the cornerstones of the new code. Conservation design, which is the clustering of homes on a portion of property to leave the remainder undeveloped, plays a key role in this strategy. Clustering development to preserve the best agricultural areas respects individuals’ rights to develop while supplying the community’s need for local agriculture. The proposed code also provides agricultural users opportunities to supplement their farming income through uses like agritourism.“
No worries, the code is only 375 pages. Probably not too many rules in regulations in it.
Get Involved Locally
We posted a blog about getting involved in Missoula County government earlier. With the upcoming 2021 municipal elections, pay attention to what is and has been going on in the city government too.
- Watch previously recorded meetings on youtube.
- Review upcoming meeting agendas (you can sign up for meeting notifications here too).
- Find the minutes from meetings posted with the agenda on the calendar
- Upcoming public hearings
- Attend public meetings and speak up!