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State adjustment allows Missoula County to reduce newly levied mills

Adjustments made to mill values by the Montana Department of Revenue will prompt Missoula County to revisit its Fiscal Year 2019 budget and make adjustments to reflect the new values.

And taxpayers stand to benefit.

Commissioners adopted their budget last month, increasing the number of mills by 11.07, including 6.9 mills for the library bond and 4.48 mills to cover increased costs in county services.

But Andrew Czorny, the county’s chief financial officer, said Tuesday that DOR revised its certified taxable values for Missoula County to account for newly taxable property near the airport. That will enable commissioners to reduce the number of mills levied in FY19.

“The $183.7 million budget commissioners approved on Aug. 23 will essentially stay the same, the county will just need to levy fewer mills to raise the revenue required to fund it,” said Czorny. “This will result in a slight reduction to the tax increase generated from the original budget.”

The change resulted when DOR revised its certified taxable values for the airport tax increment financing district. The district sunsetted in July, meaning the value of property can now be used to calculate county-wide mills.

The addition of the property increases the value of a countywide mill from $220,300 to $222,590. County-only mills increased from $98,570 to $100,860. The mill value for the open space bond also increased from $216,036 to $219,262.

“The county will levy 1.89 fewer countywide mills, 0.3 fewer county-only mills, and 0.23 fewer open space mills than originally planned,” a county spokesperson said. “This will result in a 3.81 percent increase in property taxes, down from the 4.88 percent increase that the original final budget produced.”

Commissioners will hold a public hearing to revise the number of mills levied to fund FY19. The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, in Courthouse Annex Room 151.