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Mortgage bills next step in property tax increase

| February 22, 2024 12:00 AM

Well, the next step in your residential property tax increase is happening. Banks are sending updated “mortgage bills” to homeowners.

Guess what? You owe more money!

Recently, a young friend reached out, concerned about his $100 monthly mortgage increase and he didn’t know why. That’s a lot of money – $1,200 a year.

Drumroll for the explanation.

Since the bill comes from the bank, it’s the lender's fault, right? Nope. By law, a residential mortgage statement must show the escrow portion – the amount you pay for insurance and taxes for your home.

What did your lender say was the reason for the increase? If they said something like the county increased taxes, that’s wrong, again.

The truth isn’t complicated, but it’s costly for hard-working Montanans. The State of Montana, under the leadership of Gov. Greg Gianforte and Republican legislators, raised your property taxes. The tax burden rolls down from the state to the county and ultimately to you, the homeowner. And then landlords increase rent to pay for tax hikes. 

My young friend said he’s grateful to own a home but is concerned whether he can afford Gianforte’s property tax increases.

Don’t be fooled by a $675 tax rebate you'll get later this year, likely at election time. It’s a temporary gimmick and won’t cover my friend’s homeowner tax increase of $1,200 that he’ll pay every year.

What can you do? Contact the governor and your legislator and let them know you’re tired of these political games that raise property taxes on our homes.

Jan Lombardi

Seeley Lake and Helena