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Public Safety – Justice Taxing District Form Sent to Missoula Property Owners [AUDIO]

Support-Protest Form
photo by Peter Christian

Thousands of Missoula property owners are receiving a mailing from the city to either support or protest a proposed Public Safety and Justice Taxing District.

City Clerk Martha Rehbein said the taxing district takes the place of a general revenue bond traditionally used in the past.

“The city council and the mayor are proposing a city-wide special district that will help to pay for some things that the city has traditionally voted general  obligation bonds to fund,” Rehbein said. “Particularly, this district would help to pay for police and fire, attorney and court services. In this next tax year beginning in November, we would fund the district with $350,000, mostly for police department expenses. For fiscal year 2016, the district would go to $800,000 to fund new trucks for the fire department.”

The forms allow both the options of supporting or protesting the new taxing district. Rehbein describes the tipping point at which the issue would not be passed.

“If the city receives protests from property owners who represent over 50 percent of the value of the district, it can’t proceed,” Rehbein said. “In addition, if the city receives protests from between 10 percent  to 50 percent, then if the city council wants to proceed, they would need to put the district on the ballot in order to proceed.”

Rehbein encourages anyone with questions to visit the city’s website.

“It’s important to note that the folks who sign the form must represent the majority of the property owners on the deed,” Rehbein said. “for instance, if a husband and wife both have their names on the deed, they must both sign for the form to be counted.”

The deadline for sending the form is 5:00 p.m. on June 20. Forms not sent will be assumed to support the taxing district.

City Clerk Martha Rehbein

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