Policy Basics: How do property taxes work?

Property taxes play in critical role in ensuring our local communities can invest in public services that we all depend on – roads, schools, public safety, and much more. These past several weeks on our blog, we have dissected how property taxes are calculated in Montana. This is an important topic right now, because Montana is undergoing the reappraisal process, as required by the constitution and state law to revalue all residential, commercial and agricultural land in the state.

Today the Montana Budget and Policy Center is releasing its latest “Policy Basics” piece, explaining how Montana’s property tax system works. Property taxes represent the largest type of tax revenue for local governments, with 82 percent of property taxes going directly to local taxing jurisdictions, like cities, counties and schools. The remaining share of property taxes go to the state, in its responsibility to ensure equitable funding for our K-12 schools and colleges and universities and represents the second largest source of general fund revenue (after individual and corporate income taxes).

As the state undergoes the reappraisal process, we hope our Policy Basics piece provides readers with a better understanding of how this system works and why it is so important for our state economy.

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