Montana’s Property Tax Hikes Spark Outrage

Property tax rates in Montana have skyrocketed in recent years, sparking calls for the state government to finally relieve the inflated tax burden many homeowners now face.

Begging for Relief

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A senior homeowner in Montana has taken to social media to beg for a moratorium on property taxes, as state tax hikes in recent years have spiraled out of control.

Barely Getting By

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The 68-year-old homeowner, identified only as ‘Kurt,’ took to TikTok to share the astronomical property tax hikes that have left him barely able to pay the bills despite qualifying for Social Security and working full-time. 

“Working Just to Pay Taxes”

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“I’m on Social Security, I’m 68 years old and working just to pay my taxes,” he shared with his TikTok audience.  

Nearly 800% Increase

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According to Kurt, his property taxes have been raised by almost 800% in the last few years – going from $895 per year to nearly $8,000, a figure that left viewers and followers stunned.

“Sending $700 a Month to the State”

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He described his current payments as ​​​​sending “$700 a month rent to the state to live in our own house.” “There needs to be a moratorium on what we have to pay,” he continued. “I’m stubborn enough [that] I don’t want to dig into my bank account to pay them.”

Calling for a Moratorium

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A moratorium is the temporary suspension of an activity, usually a payment, due to financial or civil distress. Moratoriums are authorized by law, and Kurt is not the only Montana resident who believes that property tax rates are a burden that many cannot afford to bear.

Working Hard or Selling On

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Some senior property owners, like Kurt, are so heavily burdened by property tax hikes that they’ve had to continue working full-time far beyond retirement age. Others have had to sell their properties because they can’t afford to fulfill payments. 

Homeowner Tax Credit

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Elderly property owners in Montana are entitled to an Elderly Homeowner/Renter Tax Credit, but the limit is set at $1,150.

Calling for Cuts

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Kurt’s viral video was also shared by Ryan Busse, a Democratic candidate gunning to be the next State Governor. Busse has brought Montana property tax rates to the fore of his gubernatorial campaign, calling for cuts across the board.

“Property Taxes Don’t Discriminate”

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“I travel around the state and Republicans all across the state, Democrats, all of them, tell me the same thing,” Busse told Politico earlier this month. “Property taxes don’t discriminate.”

Bipartisan Problems

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“They go into every kind of mailbox, red mailboxes and blue mailboxes, and people cannot believe that this governor raised taxes like this,” he continued.

A Problem for the Mountain States

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Property taxes have risen across the US, but it has become a particular problem in Mountain States like Montana where floods of Americans have begun moving in from other regions of the country, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Demand Soars

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The enormous influx of new residents has caused housing demand to skyrocket, and its correlating supply to dwindle. 

Raising Prices

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This has in turn raised the value of the average home in Montana, which is how property tax is calculated. 

House Prices Have Triped

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Data taken from the Federal Reserve house price index shows that the average house price has tripled in Montana’s most populous cities since 1995, with the largest uptick occurring between 2021 and 2023. 

21% Median Tax Hike

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According to an analysis from the Montana Free Press, the median residential property owner in Montana saw property taxes raised by 21% in a single year between 2022 and 2023. 

Pointing At the Governor

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Busse and other critics have pointed the finger at Republican Governor Greg Gianforte, who has made no efforts as of yet to relieve the property tax burden in the state.

Property Task Force

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While Gianforte did move to form a property tax task force early this year, lawmakers across the state have stalled any movements to begin a legislative session that could help to kickstart new property tax reforms. 

Lack of Action A “Curveball”

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The lack of action has been a “curveball” for many Montanans who “fully expected some kind of assistance” this year, according to Montana State University Billings professor Paul James Pope.

“We Can’t Take This Anymore”

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For Montana residents like Kurt, a solution couldn’t come too soon. “We just can’t take this anymore,” he said. “This was a great place and it still is, but the people that made it great can’t afford to live here anymore.”

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The post Montana’s Property Tax Hikes Spark Outrage first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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