Missoula County tax payers are going to see a tax hike this year to help refill a risk pool which is facing a deficit of over $800,000.

"State law allows local governments to levy mills when an emergency or litigation settlement causes the county to reduce our reserves below a level that we feel is needed to protect the county's financial position," Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss said. "This year, folks on their tax bill will see 1.19 additional mills, on what shows on a line item called 'list fund.'"

Curtiss said legal settlements have been the driving force behind the current deficit.

"It's been an accumulation from a couple years, but as with all budget decisions, we take this very seriously," Curtiss said. "We've had a few settlements over the past couple of years that's reduced that pool of money below what we think is a level that we should keep it at."

The levy will be imposed for the next three years and Curtiss said that, although it’s impossible to know for sure, another levy is not expected to be immediately needed after that.