Here’s a roundup of some of the local news stories in the Missoulian for the week of Aug. 26-Sept. 1:
When the Missoula City Council debated how to allocate funds earlier this month for the new annual budget, council members inserted a $21,700 item in the mayor’s proposed expenditures. Before the extra spending was tacked on to support herbicide-free maintenance at McCormick Park, city property taxes were already looking at a 9.71% increase. By the end of budget deliberations, that figure climbed to 9.78%.
Approving — and expanding — the Missoula city budget was a decision that drew ample criticism for its impact on property taxes. Around the same time as the city decided its new budget, Montana homeowners received their updated property valuations from the state. Many were shocked at the increase in their home values, fearing that would portend untenable tax increases.
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But is out-of-control local spending to blame for the impending tax hike? Or is there more at play in the calculations cutting into Montanans’ pocketbooks? Leaders from around the city and across the state disagree on the cause of rising taxes in Montana communities.