Articles written by Eric Dietrich

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  • Gianforte Says Statewide Sales Tax Off The Table As His Property Tax Task Force Gears Up

    Eric Dietrich|Feb 21, 2024

    Addressing his property tax task force at the group's first formal meeting Wednesday, Gov. Greg Gianforte had two big messages: Figure out how to bring some permanent tax relief to Montana homeowners - and don't do it by recommending a statewide sales tax. "As we and all Montanans know too well, property taxes are too high. That's why we're here - Montana homeowners need relief," Gianforte said, detailing a list of goals that includes slowing how fast property taxes are growing and making it...

  • Montana Supreme Court Says Counties Wrong On 95-Mill Tax Issue

    Eric Dietrich|Nov 29, 2023

    The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday ruled against Montana county governments in a dispute over the Montana Department of Revenue’s authority to order the full collection of the 95-mill state-level school equalization levy, a formerly obscure piece of tax bills that became a flashpoint this fall as state and local officials contended with frustration over rising property taxes. The ruling means that the 49 of 56 Montana counties that chose to collect a lower, 77.9-mill rate on tax bills sent to property owners this fall will likely have to m...

  • Filing Period Opens For Homeowner Property Tax Rebates

    Eric Dietrich|Aug 30, 2023

    Montana homeowners have from until Oct. 1 to file for rebates of as much as $675 on their 2022 property taxes. Montana’s Republican-controlled Legislature directed hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s historic budget surplus - $899 million in total - toward income and property tax rebates during its this year’s legislative session. With those rebates signed into law by Gov. Greg Gianforte in March, income tax rebates distributed to homeowners in July, and an initial round of property tax rebates open for application here’s what taxp...

  • Five Ways To Lower Montana's Residential Property Taxes

    Eric Dietrich|Jul 19, 2023

    Homeowners across Montana received a nasty shock in the mail last month, coming in the form of state property reappraisal notices that generally indicated the 2023 valuations used to calculate property taxes have spiked over the two-year reappraisal cycle. It’s unlikely those valuation increases, 46% on median statewide, will translate into equivalent increases when country treasurers mail out actual property tax bills this fall. That’s because the tax estimates included on the reappraisal notices don’t account for how across-the-board value...

  • Rosendale, Ronning emerge from eastern Montana U.S. House primary

    Eric Dietrich|Jun 8, 2022

    Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale handily won his party primary Tuesday as he seeks re-election to the U.S. House in the state’s newly drawn eastern congressional district. Democrats, in turn, voted to nominate former Billings City Council member and anti-human trafficking activist Penny Ronning. She will challenge Rosendale alongside independent Gary Buchanan and a Libertarian nominee. As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, that nominee appeared to be Billings realtor and attorney Sam Rankin. Ballots cast in Tuesday’s primary election, in which polls clo...

  • Gianforte Signs 'Constitutional Carry' Gun Bill

    Eric Dietrich|Feb 24, 2021

    Helena - Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a major 'constitutional carry' bill Thursday that will let Montanans carry concealed firearms in public settings including banks and bars without a permit, in addition to limiting university system officials' ability to restrict firearm possession on college campuses. The measure, House Bill 102, has been described by proponents as a way to enhance Montanans' Second Amendment rights and promote public safety by making it easier for law-abiding citizens to...

  • Bullock Says Post-COVID Reopening Plan Coming

    Eric Dietrich|Apr 22, 2020

    Helena - Gov. Steve Bullock said at a Friday, April 17, press briefing that his administration is in the process of developing a plan for scaling back anti-coronavirus social distancing measures as the number of new coronavirus cases declines. "By next week we'll have a deliberate plan for reopening," he said. Montana is currently under a number of anti-coronavirus directives that have shuttered schools, halted dine-in food service and asked residents to stay at home to the greatest extent...

  • As Montana Prepares To Reopen, State Lacks Local COVID-19 Testing Data

    Eric Dietrich and Katheryn Houghton|Apr 22, 2020

    Original story courtesy of Montana Free Press As Gov. Steve Bullock moves to roll back emergency measures enacted to slow the COVID-19 pandemic, he has said he’ll take a data-driven approach to reopening Montana’s economy while minimizing the risk of a second-surge outbreak. State officials are keeping a close eye on the number of laboratory-confirmed cases. However, they aren’t tracking the number of Montanans who’ve been tested in each county, a metric national experts say is important to fully understand how the outbreak is playing out in...

  • Bullock Details Plan For Phased Reopening Of Montana Schools And Businesses

    Eric Dietrich|Apr 22, 2020

    Original story courtesy of Montana Free Press HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock unveiled the state’s official plan Wednesday for gradually shifting Montana out of anti-coronavirus emergency mode, specifying dates for scaling back his stay-at-home directive and reopening some non-essential businesses that have been shuttered in an effort to slow the outbreak. In making the announcement, Bullock touted the state’s anti-coronavirus efforts, saying aggressive government action, dogged public health work and individual Montanans’ commitment to social...

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