Commissioners vote to cut property taxes in face of potential lawsuit from state

Facing potential lawsuits by either the state or the taxpayers, Butte-Silver Bow commissioners would rather be sued by the state and administration of Gov. Greg Gianforte.

That was the majority sentiment Wednesday night when commissioners voted 8-2 to cut property taxes levied locally on behalf of the state.

“I’d rather be sued by the state than the taxpayers because I work for the taxpayers,” said Commissioner Jim Fisher.

The move cuts state school equalization mills levied locally from 95 mills to 77.9 mills and slightly reduces state vo-tech mills. Savings on upcoming property tax bills will vary and the cuts here or in other counties could be nullified by the courts.

But if they stand, they would reduce the tax bill on a $100,000 house in Butte-Silver Bow by $23.36 and lower the tax bill on a $250,000 house by $58.39, officials say.

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The Butte School District cautioned commissioners that the move could jeopardize a portion of its funding, and if does take a hit, it would likely ask taxpayers in Butte to make up the difference.

But Butte-Silver Bow officials, citing conversations with other counties and tax attorneys, said they’re confident

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