Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Over the past two years, the near panic by homeowners in Montana reached a fever pitch as property owners awaited their reappraisals and subsequent increased property taxes.

Now, the financial website WalletHub has released a study stating that Montana’s property (or real estate) tax burden is only in the middle of the pack nationwide, based on the most recent numbers.

Wallet Hub Study says Montana Property Taxes are Middle of the Pack

KGVO News spoke to WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe who provided her perspective on Montana’s property tax burden from a national scope.

“When you look at the property taxes, and really get down to the numbers and look at the rates, Montana's effective real estate tax rate is pretty average,” began Happe. “They rank towards the middle when you look at the country. Overall, we calculated their real estate tax rate to be .79 percent, and that is, as I said, kind of middle of the road nationwide, but it is pretty high for the western part of the nation.”

Happe Acknowledged the Rapid Increase in Property Values in Montana

Happe acknowledged the increase in property values over the past few years due to COVID and so many people moving into the state, thus raising property values and the resulting higher property taxes.

“It is important to keep in mind that areas that have seen this kind of an increase in home purchases and people moving into the state, it's pretty common to see this uptick in the housing values which, as you know, leads to higher property taxes. When you're looking at the highest rate, there’s no comparison. New Jersey has the highest rate at 2.33 percent. Conversely, the lowest rate is in Hawaii, where their effective real estate tax rate is only .27 percent.

County Treasurer Tyler Gernant Pointed out the Massive Increases in Property Values

All that being said, KGVO also reached out to Missoula Clerk and Recorder and County Treasurer Tyler Gernant, who pointed out the massive increases in property values throughout the state that have led to much higher property tax bills in 2023 into 2024.

“Taxable value is based on market values that are connected,” said Gernant. However, what it's looking at is if you own a home that's worth $200,000, and now all of a sudden your home is worth $400,000, your property taxes go up, but they go up by less than the increase in your property value. The metric they're using shows that you actually have less of a tax burden, but of course when you pay your tax bill, paying $1,000 a year more in taxes doesn't feel like less of a tax burden.”

KGVO has learned that Missoula and other county commissioners throughout the state will be meeting in Helena on Wednesday to discuss the issue of property taxes, despite the fact that Governor Greg Gianforte has already empaneled a Property Tax Task Force.

Montana's Most Viewed Home on Zillow in 2023

See photos of the home in Bigfork, Montana that was the most viewed on Zillow in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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