Richland Co. Commissioners Pass Resolution Regarding 95 Mills

On Feb. 12 the Richland County passed Resolution 2024-03 amending the mill levy for the state equalization, county high school equalization and county elementary equalization mill levy authority for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023 and ending June 30, 2024. The resolution follows a ruling by the MT Supreme Court ruling that county’s must adhere to the 95-mill state level equalization rather than the lower 77.9-mill rate passed last year by 49 out of the 56 counties in the state.

“Forty nine counties challenging this issue with the Department of Revenue, the governor, budget director and going all the way over to the Supreme Court has definitely got their attention. Now, the governor has formed a property tax task force. I really feel there are going to be some changes this next legislative session,” stated Commissioner Shane Gorder.

The commissioners will send out a letter to taxpayers with their next tax statements. The letter reads as follows:

Dear Richland County Tax Payer,

The Montana Supreme Court determined that the Department of Revenue has the authority to direct counties to levy above the current mill levy calculation limitation each year if reserved mills are deterred to be available. The Department has verified that the school equalization mills—under the statutory limitations that adjust mills down when taxable values increase—are reduced from 95 mills to 77.9 mills for this tax year. However, the Department of Revenue under the direction of the Governor’s Budget Office and Governor Gianforte is directing the County to levy extra mills they hold to reserve to generate additional revenue from property taxpayers in Montana. The Supreme Court ordered counties to comply, therefore your second half taxes will necessarily be increased to comply with the request from the Department of Revenue as directed by the Governor and the Order from the Montana Supreme Court. Please remember that the local county employees and Department of Revenue employees did not play a role in this decision and the work they do is centered on complying with laws passed by the Legislature.


Duane Mitchell, Chair

Loren Young, Commissioner

Shane Gorder, Commissioner


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