March 23, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
Letter to the Editor:
Montana State Leaseholders are facing another increase on state leases. We are currently paying 3.5 percent of appraised value. We are facing possible increases ranging from 5 to 12 percent of property value. We are already being charged at a rate of more than 4 times that of private property taxes.
The Land Board has directed the D.N.R.C. to form a negotiated rule making committee to establish a new lease rate. The committee will consist of 12 members representing the Land Board, the D.N.R.C., the beneficiaries, the lessee's and MonTrust. The meetings of the Negotiated Rule Making Committee will begin April 3, 2000, in Missoula. The location will be announced.
Input from the leaseholders is needed.
Currently the taxation of private property is figured at 3.65 percent of the appraised value times the current mill levy of approximately .22. Example: $15,000 appraised value of private property x .0365 =$547.50 x .22 =$120.45.
State leaseholders pay for the use of the land at a flat 3.5 percent. Improvements are taxed separately. A State Lease land appraisal of $15,000 x .035 = $525.00, more than 4 times the taxable value of private property.
The State Legislature is constantly seeking ways to give taxpayers relief and cabin site lessee's are facing incredible increases. And there is no consideration to the effect this will have on people who are of limited resources and on fixed incomes.
The state is seeking up to 5 percent, and MonTrust would like to see increases of between 8 and 12 percent.
Please write your thoughts about how this will impact you and the community and send them to the Montana State Leaseholders Association, Box 136, Seeley Lake, MT 59868.
The letters will be copied and kept with Association records, and the originals will be submitted to the State. Many leaseholders have been forced to sell and some to abandon their homes. If the rates increase again, many more will follow. Please send your letters by March 31st.
Montana Leaseholders Association
P.O. Box 136
Seeley Lake, MT 59868