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Property Tax Billing and 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.

Montana law requires property owners to pay any disputed taxes under protest to receive any refund and accrued interest. Taxpayers must file the protest with the county treasurer in writing, specifying the grounds for protest and pay the taxes by the due date (15-1-402, MCA). Contact your county treasurer for more information about protesting your taxes.


Real Property

Real property tax bills are typically mailed in late October and contain the property owner's name, legal description of the property, total taxable value and the amount of general property tax. The special fees that are levied against the property, such as street maintenance, irrigation, sewer, fire service, garbage and city special assessments, are then added to the general property tax. County treasurers calculate current year real property taxes using the mill levies as determined by the local governments annually in accordance with 15-10-305, MCA.
 

The first-half of real property taxes are due 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 the second-half are due 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 percent a month from and after the delinquency until paid and 2 percent must be added to the delinquent taxes as a penalty. 
All taxes due and not paid on or before 5 p.m. on May 31 of each year are delinquent and draw interest at the rate of 5/6 of 1% a month from and after the delinquency until paid, and 2% must be added tothe delinquent taxes as a penalty.

If the date on which taxes are due falls on a holiday or Saturday, taxes may be paid without penalty or interest on or before 5 p.m. of the next business day in accordance with 1-1-307, MCA.
 

If taxes on property qualifying under the property tax assistance program provided for in 15-6-305, MCA are paid within 20 calendar days of the date on which the taxes are due, the taxes may be paid without penalty or interest. If a tax payment is made later than 20 days after the taxes were due, the penalty must be paid and interest accrues from the date on which the taxes were due.
 

For more information, see 15-16-102, MCA


Personal Property

County treasurers typically generate and mail personal property tax bills soon after the Department of Revenue's annual mailing of personal property assessment notices in April. For strict personal property that is not associated with real property for tax purposes, the county treasurers calculate current year taxes using the prior year's mill levies.
 

Personal property taxes are due and payable in 30 days from the date the treasurer mails the tax bill. 
 

For more information, see 15-16-119, MCA.


Mobile Homes, Manufactured Home or Housetrailer

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.

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Personal Property Classification and Appraisal Notices


Montana law requires the department to value all non-exempt personal property (business equipment) each year. Personal property valuation is based on the statewide aggregate value of a taxpayer's business equipment. More specifically, the combined value from all of a taxpayer's business locations throughout the state.

The personal property classification and appraisal notice is to inform you of the market value and taxable value of your business equipment. Typically, personal property classification and appraisal notices are mailed out in April of each year. Property owners should review the information on the notice thoroughly. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like further details about your property taxation values, please call your local Department of Revenue office. The classification and appraisal notice is not a tax bill.
 

Personal property includes most business equipment. Please refer to 15-6-138, MCA for the complete description of class eight business equipment.

Click  here for a complete list of addresses and phone numbers for the department's 56 local offices.


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Real Property Classification and Appraisal Notices


Montana law, 15-7-102, MCA, requires the department to mail an classification and appraisal notice to all property owners or purchasers under contract for deed in the first year of each appraisal cycle and whenever one or more of the following events occurs since the last notice was sent:
 

- change in ownership

- change in classification

- change in valuation

- addition or subtraction of personal property affixed to the land

The real property classification and appraisal notice is to inform you of the market value and taxable value of your property (land and improvements). Agricultural and forestland market values are based on the productivity capacity of the land. Typically, real property classification and appraisal notices are mailed out in May of each year. Property owners should review the information on the notice thoroughly. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like further details about your property taxation values, please call your local Department of Revenue office. The classification and appraisal notice is not a tax bill.

For residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial property, you have only 30 days from the date on the classification and appraisal notice to file a Form AB-26 and be eligible for a reduction in value in both years of the two-year appraisal cycle. If your Form AB-26 is not received within the 30-day time period, any reduction in value resulting form the department's review will be applicable only for the second year of the two-year appraisal cycle. 

For forest land property, if your Form AB-26 is not received within 30 days from the date on the classification and appraisal notice, it will be considered for the following tax year and any reduction in value resulting from the department's review will be applicable for the remaining years of the six-year appraisal cycle.

Real property is defined as the land and permanently affixed improvements (buildings) to land.

Real property classification and appraisal notice FAQs

Click here for a complete list of addresses and phone numbers for the department's 56 local offices.

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Overview


The purpose of a classification and appraisal notice is to inform property owners and purchasers under contract for deed of the market and taxable value of their property for property tax purposes. Study it carefully. If the classification and appraisal notice reflects a value with which you disagree, or if you have any questions concerning the value or property characteristics, call your local Department of Revenue office immediately. Do not wait until you receive your tax bill if you have questions about your property value. By then, the deadline to either informally object to the Department of Revenue or formally appeal to your local county tax appeal board has passed.
 

The following formulas are used to determine general property tax:

Market/Productivity Value x Tax Rate = Taxable Value

Taxable Value x Mill Levy = General Property Tax (exclusive of local fees and assessments)


Taxpayers have the right to request that the department conduct an informal classification and appraisal review (Form AB-26) and/or file a formal appeal at the county and state level at any time but only once each appraisal cycle.