The Republican Supermajority Made a Devastating Choice To Ignore Property Tax Hikes

The Republican legislature and Governor Gianforte passed a single property tax relief bill this session – it is a payment of around $675 dollars for homeowners only for 2022 and 2023. The “solution” does not provide relief for renters (who make up 30% of the state’s population) or provide relief of any kind after the biennium. 

The truth is, Republicans voted down long-term property tax relief during the session. 

Republicans in the legislature killed Democratic proposals to provide permanent property tax relief, which would ensure that Montana homeowners and renters receive a refund when their property taxes rise above an affordable percentage of their income. It would provide permanent relief as Montana faces soaring home prices as well as ensure critical Montana services like the police and fire departments, public schools, and road maintenance are adequately funded. 

Republicans also killed a Democratic effort to expand their one-time payment to include Montana renters, who will be covering the cost of the soaring reappraisals with their monthly rent, and who were explicitly left out of the Republican plan. 

Democrats have championed long-term property tax relief for years – introducing similar legislation in the last three sessions. 

Republicans have killed those efforts every time. 

“The drastic property tax hike threatens Montanans’ ability to afford their own homes. But it didn’t have to be this way,” says Representative Jonathan Karlen, (D- Missoula County). “The Montana Republican supermajority made a devastating choice this legislative session — with a tax reappraisal looming and home values expected to skyrocket, they voted against every meaningful long-term property tax relief bill brought by Montana Democrats.” 

“I’ve heard from so many Montanans who are worried about being able to afford the roof over their heads; Montana retirees on fixed incomes who cannot afford an sharp increase in their property taxes; Montana veterans who cannot cover the tax hike on their veteran benefits; families being priced out of homes they’ve lived in for decades,” says Sheila Hogan, executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Governor Gianforte ignored pleas to fix the state’s complicated property tax system, and instead, burned up the budget surplus on handouts to their wealthy friends.” 

The Montana Democratic Party is holding town halls across the state to hear from Montanans about this Republican failure of leadership and how it has impacted them. 


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