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Even with rising tax revenue, Gallatin County still sees increasing need for services

Tax Pic .jpg
Posted at 6:46 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 11:27:16-04

Gallatin County residents will see a nearly 6 percent tax increase in 2023. However, the county does not benefit from the current increase in housing prices because new property assessments don’t happen until 2023 and will affect the 2024 tax year.

“We need the services now but we don’t get the increase in the mill until two years later, so we can’t increase our taxes to keep up with the growth and services that all the people are demanding,” says Gallatin County Chief Financial Officer Justine Swanson.

“Growth may be good for a small county that isn’t seeing a lot of need for additional services; it's hard for a county like Gallatin County that is having a population boom right now," she added.

Swanson says with only two sources of income, the county is put between a rock and a hard place.

“As the county continues to grow, we need to provide services; the reality is we only have charges for services and property tax revenue,” says Swanson.

Since the pandemic, the rapid growth brought more revenue for certain departments. The one with the biggest increase is the Clerk and Recorder's Office.

“Gallatin County’s financial situation is still very good and even a little bit stronger after Covid. Like, it actually brought in revenues," says Swanson.

The county will go through this entire budget process all over again next year.