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Tensions run high at Butte property tax appraisal meeting

Posted at 9:01 AM, Jul 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-11 12:46:29-04

BUTTE — Anxiety over recently released property tax appraisals caused tempers to flare at the first of two meetings held by the Montana Department of Revenue and Butte-Silver Bow County officials Monday afternoon in the Mining City.

About 75 people turned out for the presentation that covered topics like property tax basics and where property tax dollars go.

Tedd Weldon with the Montana Department of Revenue and a Butte homeowner says he understands the anxiety people felt when receiving news of the increases; however, he says while property owners are likely to see tax increases, they will not be equal to the higher appraisal values.

“I grew up on the hill. I too am a property owner in Butte. I own my home here. My own property value went from $133,000 to $258,000. Yes, that caused anxiety in me,” said Weldon.

“I looked at my last year’s taxes: $1800 is roughly what I paid last year in taxes. The estimated taxes on my classification and appraisal notice increased to $2800,” he continued. “Again, that caused great anxiety in me, but I have the luxury of working for the department. I know how the tax appraisal system works. I know that I’m not going to pay $2800 in taxes this year because that is an estimate based off of last year’s mill rates. So, will my taxes be going up? My general taxes? In all likelihood, yes. Are they going to go up commensurate with my appraisal value? I would say absolutely not.”

A second meeting will take place July 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Justice Center in Butte.

Weldon also encourages people to visit the Montana Department of Revenue website for more information, including forms for property tax assistance or classification review.