Protest forms in the mail for Missoula property taxpayers
Updated On: Apr 22 2014 05:29:28 PM MDT
Missoula property taxpayers are being asked for feedback on a proposed citywide special tax district.
City leaders want to create the open-ended tax district to pay for public safety equipment and expanded facilities.
Missoula City Council passed a resolution of intent last month to create a special Public Safety and Justice District.
The city already has two other special districts; one for roads and another for parks.
This third district would fund police and fire improvements. In the second year, the tax district would raise over $800,000 to pay for updated equipment and an improved police facility.
The net effect to tax payers would be a $24 dollar tax hike for a home valued at $250,000.
Tuesday, about 24,000 property owners received a 7-page mailing from the city, including a letter from Mayor John Engen saying he proposed the district because the city needs to update its equipment and facilities.
Now, property owners have 60 days to protest the district. Supporters say the city needs the money, but opponents don't like the fact there's no lid, and no end to it.
Protests have to be turned in by June 20.
If the Missoula City Council receives protests from the owners for 50 percent or more of the cost of the district, the council can't move forward with the district for at least a year.
If the council receives protests for more than 10 percent but less than 50 percent of the cost of the district, and the council decides to move forward with the district a public vote has to be held.
The council is holding a public hearing on the district in July.