Property Tax Dispute ? The State Chamber Wants to Know. / by David Lawrence

The MONTANA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS ASKING FOR FEEDBACK on the Tax Appeal Process - They've sent out the following letter addressed to Montana Chamber Members. The letter focuses on the passage of SB280 in the last legislature. This bill concerns mediation for dispute of property valuation. Read letter here: June 21, 2013

Dear Montana Chamber Members,

During the 2013 Montana Legislative Session, the Montana Chamber and other business groups supported SB 280 to authorize mediation for dispute of property valuation. In the process of passing this legislation, a conversation was started during the session on the need to analyze the current tax appeals process. As a result, the study resolution SJ 23 was passed.

The Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee (RTIC) has been assigned SJ 23 and will begin examining the issue during their first meeting next Thursday, June 27. At this meeting, legislators will set the agenda for this study for the upcoming interim period in anticipation of making recommendations to the 2015 Legislature.

The Montana Taxpayers Association and the Montana Chamber are soliciting feedback from you as a business owner who might have experience with the Montana tax appeals process. We would like to share any anecdotes or recommendations with the RTIC.

Please take a few minutes to answer the following questions simply by responding to this email by close of business on Wednesday, June 26:

1. Are there areas that you feel the Montana tax appeals process could be improved, updated and/or streamlined? (This includes the county tax appeal board, the state tax appeal board, and the district court system related to tax issues.)

2. If you have experience with other property tax appeal boards in other states, how do they compare to Montana's process?

3. Do you have recommendations of processes you would like to see considered in Montana?

4. One idea is a permanent tax court system (like that of Montana's Water Court system). Are there pros and cons to considering this from your perspective?

5. Another idea is a rotating judge to deal with all tax issues for a specified time frame. Are there pros and cons to this suggestion from your perspective?

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.

Glenn Oppel Government Relations Director Montana Chamber of Commerce