Friday, January 28, 2005

Montana Debates Higher 2d Home Taxes

Montana, land of big skies and small taxes, is pondering property tax changes that will impact the state's growing number of second-home owners.

One proposal now before legislators: out-of-state homeowners would pay a 20 percent surcharge on their Montana property taxes to help pay for fire protection.

Also proposed: constitutional amendment to help 65-and-over primary residents. It would to freeze valuation for property taxes of the principal home owned by such a person.

Lawmakers from the Flathead Valley are behind the second move. They're looking to protect long-time homeowners there who have seen their home and land values skyrocket because out-of-state residents are building costly luxury homes in their area.

Is this part of a backlash against vacation homes? I'll keep you posted.

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