NewsLocal News

Actions

Gallatin County homeowners react as supplemental property tax bills arrive

"The money that we pay monthly now, to put into that savings account so we have the money to pay in November, is about what our mortgage was when we built."
Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 3.46.13 PM.png
Posted at 10:53 AM, Mar 26, 2024

BOZEMAN — 2023 was property tax assessment year here in Montana, and for some homeowners, the new assessments were shocking and have them worried about the future.

"The original property tax assessment, yeah, I had heart failure," says Maureen Holt.

"It was a shock. Finally when it came, it was a lot," says Vickie Riojas.

Holt has lived in her home in rural Gallatin County since 1979. In 2023, her property taxes went up 100%.

“It was crazy, and my husband's like, 'This can't be right,'” says Holt.

holt 1x1.jpg
Maureen Holt

She says the price was so high, she decided to appeal and says the process was easy.

Holt says, “We did get a deduction in the amount, but—it's not a sharp stick in the eye, I'll take whatever I can get.”

Accross Montana, 21,196 people appealed their property tax assessments in 2023. In Gallatin County alone, 3,759 homeowners appealed their assessments with about 72% of those appeals complete.

Riojas and her husband built their house in 1992. Their property taxes increased more than 50%.

riojas 1x1.jpg
Vickie Riojas

Riojas says, "I was prepared, but not prepared enough."

She says she and her husband are both retired with their mortgage fully paid off. Now with this tax bill, she says:

"The money that we pay monthly now, to put into that savings account so we have the money to pay in November, is about what our mortgage was when we built."

Riojas says this high payment worries her.

"We like to live debt-free and not have to worry about money," says Riojas, "so if something would happen to me or my husband in that income, as in half, that's very concerning."

The state gave homeowners $675 in property tax relief in 2023 and up to the same amount in 2024.

"We got a tax refund. It was nothing compared to what my taxes went up. Yippee, I got maybe 1% of what I paid," says Holt.