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HomeNewsMontana’s Dramatic Property Tax Hike Sparks Outrage From Residents

Montana’s Dramatic Property Tax Hike Sparks Outrage From Residents

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Montana residents were shocked and dismayed to see their 2024 property taxes go through the roof. Many homeowners checked their tax bills to discover new hikes of over 20%. Property tax hikes aren’t new for a state that generates more taxes from real estate.

Montana derives over 97% of its local tax revenue from taxes. Property taxes account for 9.9% of Montana’s state government’s tax revenue, compared to 1.7% for other states. Therefore, whenever there is a need for more funds, the government simply increases the tax. Until recently, residents have gotten used to the frequent hikes. 

More than most other states, Montana’s property taxes have soared by unbelievable margins. Shockingly, some residents have recorded hikes of over 800% annually. For many Montanans, the drastic nature of the hikes, rather than the new tax amounts, is the bigger challenge. 

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Tired of the regular tax hikes, angry Montanans have taken to social media to air their displeasure. They have called upon the state government to consider a downward review of the taxes. 

With residents paying as much as $7,000 monthly, many have complained about their inability to foot household bills even with full-time jobs and social security assistance. One of the demands of most of these disgruntled Montana residents is the activation of a moratorium.

This means that the government will hold off on tax collection until the harsh economic situation and other reasons for the moratorium have been resolved. Given the high rate of government dependency on taxes, this is a bold request for many government officials. 

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According to ATTOM CEO Rob Barber, most of the hikes are due to the ripple effects of inflation. He blamed the hikes on “inflationary pressures… along with rising public employee wages and other major expenses.” 

According to Barber, inflation has increased government expenses. For example, funding for road maintenance, fire service operations, and other public initiatives has risen, so governments must raise taxes to meet up. 

Property taxes have also increased in California but for an unusual reason. The state government is using the extra money to fund conservative initiatives in line with its relentless drive for a safer climate. 

Consequently, residents should expect property taxes to double throughout the year. Meanwhile, the state government is battling to convince residents that it is a noble and small price to pay for the greater good. 

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After the pandemic, Montana witnessed unprecedented growth. Consequently, home prices began shooting up, and property taxes rose. A Republican state senator, Brad Molner, disclosed that lawmakers received a warning that values would increase significantly this year. 

The new taxes have become so overwhelming for many retiree property owners that they’ve decided to return to work. Many Retirees have begun to apply for and work full-time or part-time jobs to bridge the gap created by the tax surge. 

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For some other homeowners, selling off their properties to live somewhere more affordable is the only solution. Refusing to pay the tax is one option available to Montana’s property owners. However, it is the most costly one.

Many property owners contemplating this move may not be aware that the IRS has the power to seize their property. For now, residents are doing all they can to pressure the Republican-led government to back down. With elections around the corner, anything is possible. 

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