Missoula, Montana (AP) Missoulas property tax increases will not cause a dent in the state’s budget deficit, the state GOP chair said Monday.
The Montana GOP chair and GOP state leader, Mike Lofgren, made the comments during a news conference on the state legislature’s budget deliberations.
Lofgren said the governor has approved the $1.5 million boost to the state property tax base, which he said will come from the increased sales tax on goods and services.
He did not say what it would be used for.
The increase will cost the state about $3 million per year, Lofren said.
The property tax hike, which took effect on Feb. 1, comes with a catch.
Those without income above $75,000 a year would pay more than they do now.
The amount of the increase will depend on income, which is now based on a family size of three.
A higher minimum wage will also be a factor, Lorgren said.
In the past, property taxes were a major source of revenue for the state.
Since 2010, the Legislature has raised property taxes by about $300 million, including a $50 million increase in 2013.
The budget process has been delayed in the past because of the economic downturn, and a federal judge recently ruled that the state had not paid $3.5 billion in back taxes.