Property Tax Liability, Billing and Collection
The amount of property tax is not determined solely by a property's value. The property's value is multiplied by a tax rate, set by the legislature, to determine its taxable value. The taxable value is then multiplied by the mill levy established by various taxing jurisdictions-city and county government, school districts and others-to provide services in the taxpayer's area.
The following formulae are used to determine general property tax:
Value X Tax Rate = Taxable Value
Taxable Value X Mill Levy = General Property Tax
Property Assessment Notice
Explanation of Column Headings and Information
- Legal Owner(s) - This area of the form lists the legal owner(s) and if a name is listed with an in-care-of sign, the names would be contract purchaser(s).
- Tax Year and County Name - This is a generic heading to indicate the year of the assessment notice and will always have the name of the county directly below that heading.
- Date - The date is important because of the statutes regarding the taxpayers right to appeal the value. This date is always dated at least seven days in advance of the day the assessment notices are initially produced to allow for processing and mailing time.
- Assessment Code - This is a unique number that identifies one or more properties for the county tax billing process.
- School District - This is the county described school district.
- Mill Levy - The previous year consolidated mill levy for the levy district in which the property is located is required to be printed on the notice.
- Legal Description/Geocode - The legal description includes subdivision name, lot, block, section, township, range or whatever information describes the property for the purpose of legal ownership. The corresponding geocode (geographical identification number for a parcel) from the department's computer system (CAMAS) also prints on the assessment notice.
- Property Classification - The class code description is printed to assist the taxpayer in identifying the property assessed. In order for it to fit on the notice, it is often abbreviated and may require your assistance for the taxpayer to understand.
- Quantity - A quantity may appear in this column for number of acres for real property or quantity of livestock or other personal property listed on the assessment notice.
- Previous Year Value - This was new for 2003. This is the actual Taxable Market Value and Taxable Value from the previous year assessment notice. The note at the bottom of the page indicates a taxpayer should compare the actual taxable value from last year to the taxable value this year for the best value comparison. (If there is no figure in that column from last year, the parcel is either new or may have been assigned to a new geocode or assessment code.)
- 2003 Reappraisal Value - This is the actual 2003 reappraisal value (i.e. the full value) of the property.
- 2002 Value Before Reappraisal - This is the actual reappraisal value of the property for the previous appraisal cycle. If the value is followed by an asterisk, the property had new construction, destruction or other adjustments since 2002 that made it necessary for us to calculate this value. (For example, if a house did not exist in 2002, we still need to calculate what the value would have been in order to compute a phase-in value.)
- 2003 Phase-in Value - This is the actual 2003 calculated phase-in value based on 16.6% of the difference between the 2003 reappraisal value and the 2002 value before reappraisal, added to the 2002 VBR. (If the 2003 reappraisal value is less than the VBR, the phase-in value and the reappraisal value will be the same.) All decreases in value immediately go to the lower value.
- Exemption Amount - The actual dollar amount of the exemption will be displayed here. For 2003, the exemption amount is 34% for residential property and 15% for commercial property. The dollar amount is calculated by multiplying the appropriate percentage times the 2003 phase-in value.
- Taxable Market Value - This value is the final 2003 phase-in value less the residential or commercial exemption. It is the value that the tax rate is multiplied by to determine taxable value.
- Taxable Percent - This is the tax rate for the type of property being assessed. The tax rate for all class 3 (ag land) and class 4 (residential, commercial and industrial land and buildings) is 3.01% for 2003. The tax rate for forest land is .35%.
- Taxable Value - The Taxable Market Value times the Taxable Percent results in the Taxable Value. This is the final value used in determining the amount of tax due. For example, the final taxable value times the mill levy would result in the amount of ad valorem tax due.
Property Tax Collection
All property taxes levied and assessed in the state of Montana, except assessments made for special improvements in cities and towns are payable under 15-16-102 MCA. Property taxes, unless suspended or canceled under the provisions of Title 15, chapter 24, part 17 MCA are collected as follows by the County Treasurer's Office.
One-half of the taxes are payable on or before 5 p.m. on November 30 of each year or within 30 days after the tax notice is postmarked, whichever is later, and one-half are payable on or before 5 p.m. on May 31 of each year.
Unless one-half of the taxes are paid on or before 5 p.m. on November 30 of each year or within 30 days after the tax notice is postmarked, whichever is later, the amount payable is delinquent and draws interest at the rate of 5/6 of 1% a month from and after the delinquency until paid and 2% must be added to the delinquent taxes as a penalty.
The owner of a mobile home, manufactured home or housetrailer that is not taxed as an improvement (improvements are defined in 15-1-101 MCA) shall pay the personal property tax in two payments, except as provided in 15-24-202 MCA.
The first payment is due on or before May 31 or within 30 days from the date of the notice of taxes due, whichever is later.
The second payment is due no later than November 30 of the year in which the property is assessed.
Last updated 1/31/2012 1:45:35 PM