The HJ 35 Tax Study Committee met January 13 as part of Legislative Week. The 18-member committee, which includes all members of the Revenue Interim Committee and 6 public members, is undertaking a study of the state and local tax system. The January meeting focused on property tax, which is the second largest source of general fund revenue and important revenue source for school districts and local governments.

The committee spent the morning learning the basics of the property tax system, including how the property tax works, where the revenue goes, historical actions related to the property tax, the role of school funding, how reappraisal works, and common legal issues related to the property tax. After laying this foundation, the committee considered property tax data requested at the November meeting. Topics covered included mill rates by city and county, a history of property taxes paid by class, residential property taxes by city and county, and relative changes in residential property taxable value and taxes.

The afternoon agenda included information about property tax regimes in other states, specifically property tax limits and property tax relief programs. The committee also received general information about property tax circuit breakers and an analysis of whether Montana's circuit breakers follow recommendations on circuit breaker design.

The committee will devote some time at the next meeting to following up on the property tax information presented at the meeting. The main topic for the next HJ 35 Committee meeting will be individual income tax and corporate income tax. The Revenue Interim Committee will meet next on March 19-20. For more information, visit the committee’s website or contact committee staff, Megan Moore.

Committee Website:
Committee Staff: or 406-444-4496

The Legislative News.