DOR Meetings will Explain Higher Property Values
Given the past few years of escalating property values it probably won’t be a surprise for most people when they get their Real Estate Assessment Notices and see an increase in their property values – but then again – it may be quite a shock for some and alarming to many people as to what it means regarding their property tax bill.
At the very least, the Montana Department of Revenue (DOR) anticipates that there will be a lot of questions about what the increased values for both commercial and residential properties will mean.
The Montana DOR is mailing property classification and appraisal notices to all owners of residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural land properties on June 30. These notices are not tax bills. They include the department’s determination of market or productivity value and the taxable value for property that will be used by your county treasurer to determine the property taxes owed for tax year 2023 and 2024.
In order to meet those questions head-on the agency is planning to hold two informational meetings in Yellowstone County in July.
Paula Gilbert, DOR’s Appraisal Manager for Yellowstone Count said, “People are going to see large changes in their values. Because the market in Montana has been so strong these past several years, most values have gone up dramatically. Some people will look at those assessments and panic.”
It is hoped that the informational meetings will help to “relieve some of that panic.” Ideally, if property values go up, mill levies go down. What mill levies will be won’t, of course, be known until the fall when property tax statements are issued.
The first meeting will be at the Billings Library on Thursday, July 6, 4-7 pm.
A second one will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 9:30 am in conjunction with the country commissioners regular weekly meeting, 3rd Floor of the Stillwater Building. Gilbert said that at that meeting there will be knowledgeable experts on hand to answer questions of taxpayers.
DOR wants people to understand that if they believe their property valuation is incorrect or if they want to file a protest, they must do so within 30 days of receiving their Real Estate Assessment Notices. Waiting until the tax bill comes is too late.
“It’s important that Montana property owners review this information,” said Brendan Beatty, Director of the Montana DOR. “If property owners wait until property tax bills are sent in November, it will be too late for the department to correct property characteristics and make adjustments that may impact the value of the property for Tax Year 2023.
Recipients are urged to review the notice as soon as possible and contact the DOR, if they have questions. If property owners disagree with the department’s determination of value for their property, they may submit a Request for Informal Classification and Appraisal Review (called Form AB-26) within 30 days of the date on their notice.
Owners can electronically submit the form, download it, and find more information on the informal review process at MTRevenue.gov. In July, public meetings in cities and towns across the state will be held to help taxpayers understand the property valuation process and how the department determined the new values on their appraisal notices.