Who Takes Responsibility for Breakdown in Property Tax?

July 31, 2012 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

Not every property owner can navigate the property tax code and come to a full understanding of it. It will contain different classifications and rates of payments in each of the fifty states in the United States. For example, Montana offers the following information on tax code.

Who Takes Responsibility for Breakdown in Property Tax?

Property taxes in the state of Montana in fiscal 2011-2012 totaled almost $1.3 billion. It was compartmentalized by the state’s Revenue Department. Residential and commercial owners in Class 4 paid 63.5 percent for a total amount of $823 million. Commercial owners paid $201.6 million on additions and residential owners, $616 million. There was a remainder of $5.1 million and that went to property tax help.

Payments of $147.6 million came from those who owned pipelines and property that did not generate electric power, which is class 9. Payments from those owning equipment for businesses was $92.4 million. Property taxes collected from class 8 owners were $87.7 million from those who owned electric and telecommunications parcels. Agricultural property is class 3 and has paid $71.3 million.

Those who own airline property and railroad property are in class 12 and their share was $35.3 million. That left 3 percent of the total. Class 1 mines and mining claims, metal mines are class 2 and owners of pollution control equipment are class 5. Class 7 is public utilities that are not centrally assessed. Class 10 is land considered to be forest. Finally, class 14 is commercial wind generating properties.

There are two classes that were repealed. They are class 11 and class 6. Different tax rates are applied to each class and some properties extend into more than one classification.

As expected, each state may have a different set of classifications; and a different tax rate assessed for each class and thus, results in varying amounts based on the specific set of resources and types of property owners. There are always commercial and residential classes, which are differentiated. A tax code is usually complicated and requires an expert to understand it. How well they can convey an understanding to all taxpayers will vary from state to state.

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