Did you recently receive this document in the mail?
This is not a tax bill from Missoula County. It’s an appraisal notice issued by the Montana Department of Revenue showing the current assessed value of your property. DOR appraises the value of real property every two years, so the value listed on your form applies to tax years 2019 and 2020. The state DOR, not the county, calculates this value, which is a key factor in determining the property taxes you’ll owe this year. Those property taxes help fund several taxing jurisdictions you live in, including the county.
Many Missoula County residents are experiencing sticker shock upon opening their notices. If you feel the assessed value on your property is inaccurate, you can appeal it during a 30-day window from June 18 through July 18. Do not wait until you receive your tax bill in October – it will be too late!
If you miss the July 18 deadline, you can still appeal the assessment until June 1, 2020. But if you wait until then to appeal, any changes to your assessment would only apply to tax year 2020, not the 2019 tax bill you’ll receive this fall.
It’s also important to note that the estimated taxes listed on the notice do not include special assessments. Special assessments are determined by the location of your property, i.e., if you live in a certain school, fire, water quality or other special district. You can view the special assessments that will be levied on your property by downloading your current tax bill on the Missoula County iTax website.
With temperatures expected to climb into the mid-50s next week (😲), the heavy snow that blanketed Missoula County throughout February will likely start to melt, and melt fast. You may not live in a floodplain, but your home could still be susceptible to flooding caused by rapid snow melt. And even if your home doesn’t flood, snow melt can lead to other problems, such as water damage and mold.
With spring* weather right around the corner, this weekend is a great time to prepare your property. The Missoula County Office of Emergency Management has compiled a few tips to help homeowners prevent problems caused by rapid snow melt:
Shovel snow away from your home, keeping it at least 5 feet away from your foundation.
Clear snow and ice from drainage areas around your home’s foundation.
If your home is on a grade or hill, shovel snow so that it doesn’t flow toward your home when it melts.
Clear snow from your roof to prevent excessive buildup, which can lead to ice damage that allows melting snow to seep through your roof. Clearing the snow also prevents a significant amount of water from flowing through your gutters during a thaw.
Clear snow and ice from gutter downspouts. Add downspout extensions to channel melting snow away from your home.
Keep drainage areas around your home clear of snow and ice buildup. This ensures melting snow will drain properly and helps prevent backups.
Inspect basement walls for cracks. This includes caulking around windows, too. Make repairs as necessary to prevent water from entering your basement.
Remove snow from the window wells around your house.
Test your basement sump pump now, before all the snow melts.
Never ignore water in your basement. Investigate and repair the source as soon as possible. If you have water in your basement or a flood from melting snow, dry and clean the area as quickly as possible.
And, while we’re talking about preparedness … have you signed up for Smart 911 yet? The Office of Emergency Management encourages all Missoula County residents to register for this free service, which will deliver timely, location-specific alerts to help keep you and your family safe during an emergency. Head to www.smart911.com or download the app!