Daily Montanan | Politics of Property Taxes in Montana

Online applications and geocodes are Greek to many senior citizens. There must have been an easier way.

Daily Montanan | Politics of Property Taxes in Montana
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Read the Editorial at the Daily Montanan by Dave Lewis
“There were 578,000 votes cast in the 2020 Montana governor’s race. Applications for the property tax rebate were only 150,000 with less than a week to go. The question in my mind is: What impact the rebate will have on the next governor’s race? The people who got the rebate are happy but the people who got nothing are going to be unhappy. Only a third of the voters have gotten the rebate but 100% will have seen property tax or rent increases by the next election.
Will the rebate have a bigger impact on the people who did not get the rebate than those who did? Will resentment, by renters and those property owners who did not get the rebate actually turn it into a negative for the Republicans and the governor?
I know a lot of senior citizens, because I am one, and there were a lot who gave up in frustration at trying to fill in the online form for the rebate. My sister lives in a subdivision in the Missouri River Canyon in southern Cascade County. I tried to look up the geocode for her property and it was impossible. We tried to call the county repeatedly and got no reply, Finally she called early one morning and got a live voice who quickly looked up the code and gave it to her. But it took until the middle of September to get it. I am sure there were many who gave up in despair.
Online applications and geocodes are Greek to many senior citizens. There must have been an easier way. Renters are going to see increases when the new property tax values are factored in. The rebate does nothing for them.
I get the need for the surplus to be used for one-time only expenditures, but the rebate may have negative political impacts rather than positive. Hard feelings by the people who were not benefitted will out weigh the momentary sugar high that those who got the rebate will feel.
An income tax cut targeted a families and lower income brackets may have actually been a better way to spend the money.
$675 to property owners may not make a big enough difference to the people who know their geocode.”

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