Senate Bill No. 372
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act requiring the department of revenue, upon a timely showing of reliable evidence of a change in ownership or reliable evidence of a land split resulting in a change of ownership to change the current ownership records; providing that at the option of the taxpayers in a land split the department may recompute the current year's taxes based upon the percentage of ownership of each owner; amending sections 15-7-304, 15-8-201, 15-10-305, and 15-16-101, MCA; and providing a delayed effective date and an applicability date."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Land split. A land split is the conveyance or transfer of a portion of a parcel of land that will require the department to change its ownerships records for the original parcel to show the creation of one or more new parcels under a new ownership.
Section 2. Section 15-7-304, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-7-304. Report of transfers -- change of ownership records. (1) All transfers of real property that are not evidenced by a recorded document, except those transfers otherwise provided for in this part, must be reported to the department on the form prescribed.
(2) (a) The department is not required to change any ownership records used for the assessment or taxation of real property
unless the department
has received receives a transfer certificate from the clerk and recorder or other reliable evidence that
demonstrates that the grantee is the owner of the property for tax purposes and the transfer has been reported to the
department as provided by rule. If the grantor on the transfer certificate is not the person to whom the property is assessed
on the property tax record, the department may not substitute the grantee's name on the certificate for the name of the
current person listed on the property tax record, but the department shall add the grantee's name to the property tax record
with the name of the person to whom the property is assessed. The department shall mail notification of the change to the
person to whom the property is assessed and to the grantee. The department shall substitute the grantee's name on the
property tax record when reliable evidence demonstrates that the grantee is the owner of the property for tax purposes.
(b) If the parties to a land split wish to receive separate tax notices for each parcel in the land split in the current year they shall provide a reallocation percentage to the department. The department shall provide a space on the transfer certificate for the parties to list the percentage of assessed value that each party received of the total assessed value of the land, the improvements, and any personal property subject to tax liens against the real property. The department shall use the percentage as the basis for dividing the assessed value among the parties if reliable evidence demonstrates that the grantee is the owner of the property for tax purposes and the evidence has been provided and processed prior to the time taxes are determined. If the parties to a conveyance do not list a reallocation percentage or do not provide reliable evidence that demonstrates that the grantee is the owner of the property for tax purposes or if the request is untimely, the department shall add the grantee's name to the property tax statement along with the name of the person to whom the property has previously been assessed."
Section 3. Section 15-8-201, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-8-201. General assessment day. (1) The department shall, between January 1 and the second Monday of July in each year, ascertain the names of all taxable inhabitants and assess all property subject to taxation in each county.
(2) The department shall assess property to:
(a) the person by whom it was owned or claimed or in whose possession or control it was at midnight of the preceding January 1; or
(b) the new owner if reliable evidence has been received and processed prior to determining the taxes that are due as provided in 15-7-302(2)(a).
(3) The department shall also ascertain and assess all mobile homes arriving in the county after midnight of the preceding January 1.
(4) A mistake in the name of the owner or supposed owner of real property does not invalidate the assessment.
(2)(5) The procedure provided by this section does not apply to:
(a) motor vehicles that are required by 15-8-202 to be assessed on January 1 or upon their anniversary registration date;
(b) motor homes, travel trailers, and campers;
(e) property defined in 61-1-104 as "special mobile equipment" that is subject to assessment for personal property taxes on the date that application is made for a special mobile equipment plate;
(f) mobile homes held by a distributor or dealer of mobile homes as stock in trade; and
(g) property subject to the provisions of 15-16-203.
(3)(6) Credits must be assessed as provided in 15-1-101(1)(f)."
Section 4. Section 15-10-305, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-10-305. Clerk and recorder to report mill levy -- department to compute and enter taxes. (1) (a)
The Except as
provided in subsection (1)(b), the county clerk and recorder shall by the third Monday in August notify the department of
the number of mills needed to be levied for each taxing jurisdiction in the county. The department shall compute the taxes
by multiplying the number of mills times the taxable value of the property to be taxed and shall add any fees or assessments
required to be levied against a person owning property. All taxes, fees, and assessments must be itemized for the property
listed in the property tax record.
(b) The department shall compute the current year's taxes based upon the reallocation percentage provided for in 15-7-304(2)(b) if the department is able to do so without violating the deadline provided in subsection (2).
(2) The department shall complete the computation of the amount of taxes, fees, and assessments to be levied against the property and shall notify the county clerk and recorder and the county treasurer by the second Monday in October."
Section 5. Section 15-16-101, MCA, is amended to read:
"15-16-101. Treasurer to publish notice -- manner of publication. (1) Within 10 days after the receipt of the property tax record, the county treasurer shall publish a notice specifying:
(a) that one-half of all taxes levied and assessed will be due and payable before 5 p.m. on the next November 30 or within 30 days after the notice is postmarked and that unless paid prior to that time the amount then due will be delinquent and will draw interest at the rate of 5/6 of 1% per month from the time of delinquency until paid and 2% will be added to the delinquent taxes as a penalty;
(b) that one-half of all taxes levied and assessed will be due and payable on or before 5 p.m. on the next May 31 and that unless paid prior to that time the taxes will be delinquent and will draw interest at the rate of 5/6 of 1% per month from the time of delinquency until paid and 2% will be added to the delinquent taxes as a penalty; and
(c) the time and place at which payment of taxes may be made.
(2) The county treasurer shall send to the last-known address of each taxpayer a written notice, postage prepaid, showing the amount of taxes and assessments due for the current year, including taxes computed by the department due to reallocation for land splits as provided in 15-7-304(2)(b), and the amount due and delinquent for other years. The written notice must include:
(a) the taxable value of the property;
(b) the total mill levy applied to that taxable value;
(c) the value of each mill in that county;
(d) itemized city services and special improvement district assessments collected by the county;
(e) the number of the school district in which the property is located; and
(f) the amount of the total tax due that is levied as city tax, county tax, state tax, school district tax, and other tax.
(3) The municipality shall, upon request of the county treasurer, provide the information to be included under subsection (2)(d) ready for mailing.
(4) The notice in every case must be published once a week for 2 weeks in a weekly or daily newspaper published in the county, if there is one, or if there is not, then by posting it in three public places. Failure to publish or post notices does not relieve the taxpayer from any tax liability. Any failure to give notice of the tax due for the current year or of delinquent tax will not affect the legality of the tax."
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 15, chapter 7, part 1, and the provisions of Title 15, chapter 7, part 1, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Applicability. [This act] applies to all conveyances and transfers of property resulting in a change of ownership effective after December 31, 1997.
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Effective date -- rulemaking. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), [this act] is effective January 1, 1998.
(2) The department may commence rulemaking to implement the provisions of [this act] prior to January 1, 1998, but the date rules are adopted implementing [this act] may not be earlier than January 1, 1998.