The Forest Service will be receiving a property tax bill from Mineral County this year. County Commissioners Laurie Johnston, Roman Zylawy and Duane Simons signed the letter March 9 requesting property tax revenue for 2017. The “historic letter” as defined by Rep. Denley Loge, describes the plight Mineral County is facing as options to fund the county have dried up.
With over 90 percent of the county owned by the government, primarily the Forest Service, this leaves less than 10 percent of the tax burden on private land owners. Both Payment in Lieu of Taxes and Secure Rural Schools Act were established to offset the loss of land to the government, but have not been renewed this year.
“The loss of funding from the federal government has left Mineral County, Montana with no other alternative than to assess the Federal Government for their portion of the property taxes on 640,183 acres they manage within Mineral County,” the commission’s letter states.