“The lion’s share of that will go to schools, as well as Missoula County, so it will provide some additional property tax relief in a really good year,” Engen said.
But as with most budget issues, it’s not quite that simple.
While it is true that the county and schools will get an unexpected shot of cash, the options for how to use that money are limited.
Wednesday, the city proposed taking $2.8 million out of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s accounts, but any money taken from those urban renewal funds must be split with the county and schools, among a few other smaller entities. The city’s cut will be about $725,000, leaving about $500,000 for the county and $1 million for the school district.
County officials pushed back on the idea that the money they would receive out of the deal could be used to lower taxes. Since it’s just a one time shot of cash, Missoula County chief financial officer Andrew Czorny said it wouldn’t be fiscally responsible to put the money toward expenses that occur every year.
“We’ll get around $500,000 that would bolster our cash position,”