_________ Bill No. _______

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act providing for a property service use fee to be paid by nonresident owners of residential improvements to pay for services provided by the state of Montana; providing for the determination of residency by the department of revenue and for the appeal of that decision; providing for an individual income tax credit in the amount of the property service use fee; amending section

15-8-701, MCA; and providing an applicability date."

WHEREAS, all owners of residential property in Montana are provided the same opportunity to avail themselves of public services provided by the State of Montana; and

WHEREAS, the majority of those services are paid for by taxes on income; and

WHEREAS, residents of Montana pay taxes on income to the State of Montana and nonresidents do not; and

WHEREAS, residents of Montana are unfairly paying for the services provided to nonresidents; and

WHEREAS, it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that nonresident owners of residential improvements be assessed a fee for those improvements so that they will participate in paying for the services available to them.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

NEW SECTION. Section 1.  Property service use fee -- definition. (1) In addition to any other property tax levies on residential improvements, there is levied on residential improvements owned by persons who are not residents of the state an amount equivalent to 25% of the property taxes otherwise levied on the improvements. The county treasurer shall transmit the fee in the same manner that statewide property taxes are transmitted to the state treasurer for deposit in the state general fund. The fees must be used to pay for services provided to nonresidents that are normally paid for through state income taxes.

(2) "Resident" means a person domiciled in the state of Montana and any other person who maintains a permanent place of abode within the state, even though temporarily absent from the state, and who has not established a residence elsewhere.

(3) (a) The department shall determine which owners of residential improvements in the state are nonresidents by utilizing automobile registration, hunting license, driver's license, income tax, and similar data bases.

(b) If the department determines that the owner of a residential improvement is not a resident of the state, the department shall notify the taxpayer of its determination. A copy of the notice must be sent to the department's agent in the county in which the property is located. If the taxpayer disagrees with the department's residency determination, the taxpayer may request a review of the determination by submitting an objection in writing to the department, on forms provided by the department for that purpose, within 30 days after receiving the notice. The review must be conducted informally and is not subject to the contested case procedures of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act. As a part of the review, the department may consider all relevant information presented by the taxpayer in support of the taxpayer's opinion on residence. The department shall give reasonable notice to the taxpayer of the time and place of the review. After the review, the department shall determine whether the taxpayer is a resident and notify the taxpayer of its determination. In the notification, the department shall state the reasons for its determination.

(c)  If any property owner feels aggrieved by the residency classification made by the department after the review provided for in subsection (3)(b), the property owner has the right to first appeal to the county tax appeal board and then to the state tax appeal board, whose findings are final subject to the right of review in the courts. The appeal to the county tax appeal board must be filed within 30 days after notice of the department's determination is mailed to the taxpayer. A county tax appeal board or the state tax appeal board may consider all relevant information presented by the taxpayer as evidence of the taxpayer's Montana residency.

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Credit for property service use fee. (1) There is allowed as a nonrefundable credit against the tax imposed by 15-30-103 an amount equal to the amount of any property service use fee paid by the taxpayer pursuant to [section 1].

(2) There is no carryback or carryforward of the credit permitted under this section, and the credit must be applied in the year the fee was paid, as determined by the taxpayer's accounting method.

Section 3.  Section 15-8-701, MCA, is amended to read:

"15-8-701.   Property tax record -- definition -- listing property in. (1) Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term "property tax record" means the record that is kept in each county by the department and that contains the information described in subsection (2). The term includes records referred to as an "assessment book" or "assessment roll" and, in a county in which the property tax record is kept on a computer system, the information on the system analogous to the information described in subsection (2).

(2)  The department shall prepare a property tax record with appropriate headings, in which must be listed all property within the state and in which must be specified, by an appropriate heading:

(a)  the name of the person to whom the property is assessed;

(b)  land by description sufficient to identify it, the locality, and the improvements on the land;

(c)  all taxable personal property, showing the number, kind, amount, and quality; but a failure to enumerate in detail the personal property does not invalidate the assessment;

(d)  the assessed value of real estate;

(e)  the assessed value of improvements on land, except that land and improvements must be separately listed when required under 15-8-111, and if any of the improvements are residential, whether the owner is a resident of the state;

(f)  the assessed value of improvements on real estate assessed to persons other than the owners of the real estate. Taxable improvements owned by a person, located upon land exempt from taxation, must, as to the manner of assessment, be assessed as other real estate. A value may not be assessed against the exempt land, and the land may not be charged with and is not responsible for the assessment made against any taxable improvements located on the land.

(g)  the assessed value of all taxable personal property;

(h)  the school, road, and other revenue districts in which each piece of property assessed is situated;

(i)  the total assessed value of all property;

(j)  the taxable value of all property;

(k)  the taxes and fees assessed against the property; and

(l)  the total of each type of tax, levy, and fee."

NEW SECTION. Section 4.  Codification instruction. (1) [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 15, chapter 10, part 1, and the provisions of Title 15, chapter 10, part 1, apply to [section 1].

(2) [Section 2] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 15, chapter 30, and the provisions of Title 15, chapter 30, apply to [section 2].

NEW SECTION. Section 5.  Applicability. [Sections 1 through 3] apply to tax years beginning after December 31, 1997.