Montana Code Annotated 2019



Part 19. Industrial Parks

Industrial Park Tax Exemption -- Procedure -- Termination

15-24-1902. Industrial park tax exemption -- procedure -- termination. (1) An industrial park owned and operated by a local economic development organization or a port authority is eligible for an exemption from property taxes as provided in this section.

(2) In order for a taxpayer to qualify for the tax exemption described in this section, the taxpayer must have applied by March 1 of the year during which the benefit is first applicable. The governing body of the county, consolidated government, incorporated city or town, or school district in which the property is located shall approve the tax exemption by resolution, after due notice, as provided in 7-1-2121 if a county, consolidated government, or school district or 7-1-4127 if an incorporated city or town, and hearing. The governing body may approve or disapprove the tax exemption provided for in subsection (1). If a tax exemption is approved, the governing body shall do so by a separate resolution for each industrial park in its respective jurisdiction. The governing body may not grant approval for the industrial park until all of the applicant's taxes have been paid in full. Taxes paid under protest do not preclude approval. Prior to holding the hearing, the governing body shall determine that:

(a) the local economic development organization:

(i) is a private, nonprofit corporation as provided in Title 35, chapter 2, and is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code;

(ii) is engaged in economic development and business assistance work in the area; and

(iii) owns and operates or will own and operate the industrial development park; or

(b) the port authority legally exists under the provisions of 7-14-1101 or 7-14-1102.

(3) (a) The governing body shall:

(i) publish due notice within 60 days of receiving a taxpayer's complete application for the tax treatment provided for in this section; and

(ii) conduct a public hearing regarding an application for the tax treatment provided for in this section and deny or approve it within 120 days of receiving the application as provided in subsection (3)(a)(i).

(b) If the governing body fails to hold a hearing or deny or approve the application within 120 days of receiving the application, the applicant may seek from the district court in the jurisdiction in which the county, consolidated government, city, town, or school district is located a writ of mandamus to compel the governing body to make a determination.

(4) Upon receipt of approval of the governing body of the affected taxing jurisdiction, the department shall make the assessment change for the tax exemption provided for in this section.

(5) The tax exemption described in subsection (1) applies only to the number of mills levied and assessed by the governing body approving the exemption over which the governing body has sole discretion. If the governing body of a county, consolidated government, or incorporated city or town approves the exemption, the exemption applies to levies or assessments required under Title 15, chapter 10, 20-9-331, or 20-9-333 or otherwise required under state law.

(6) If a local economic development organization sells, leases, or otherwise disposes of the exempt property to a purchaser or lessee that is not a local economic development organization or a unit of federal, state, or local government, the tax exemption provided in this section terminates. The termination of the exemption applies January 1 of the taxable year immediately following the sale, lease, or other disposition of the property. Upon termination of the exemption, the property must be assessed as provided in 15-16-203.

(7) Property taxes abated from the reduction in property taxes allowed by this section are subject to recapture by the local governing body if the ownership or use of the property does not meet the requirements of 15-24-1901, this section, or the resolution required by subsection (2) of this section. The recapture is equal to the amount of taxes avoided, plus interest and penalties for nonpayment of property taxes provided in 15-16-102, during any period in which an abatement under the provisions of this section was in effect. The amount recaptured, including penalty and interest, must be distributed by the treasurer to funds and accounts subject to the abatement in the same ratio as the property tax was abated. A recapture of taxes abated by this section is not allowed with regard to property ceasing to qualify for the abatement by reason of an involuntary conversion. The recapture of abated taxes may be canceled, in whole or in part, if the local governing body determines that the taxpayer's failure to meet the requirements is a result of circumstances beyond the control of the taxpayer.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 679, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 702, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 119, Ch. 27, Sp. L. November 1993; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 597, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 57, L. 2013.