HELENA, MT – Governor Brian Schweitzer today announced that nearly $95 million dollars has gone back to 235,460 Montana households in the form of the $400 homeowner property tax refund since the program began on August 27.
“This is $95 million worth of economic stimulus for main streets all over Montana,” said Governor Schweitzer. “Montana is on the move and ahead of the curve in getting money back to taxpayers and stimulating the economy.”
More than 95% of the estimated eligible households benefited from the property tax refund. The final filing day for filing for the refund was December 31, 2007. Taxpayers filing past the December deadline must explain the hardship that prevented them from applying by the deadline. Department of Revenue staff will review these applications on a case-by-case basis. As of January 11, 2008, there were 75 hardship cases received. Taxpayers requesting consideration due to hardship reasons will continue to be considered through June 30, 2008.
“Everything went smoothly, in particular, this was a success story of electronic filing,” Bucks said. A total of 134,348 applications, about 55.4%, were filed online. In addition, 99,017 homeowners, about 41.5%, requested direct deposit of their refund payments.
The refund application process was also the first of the new web-based filing applications planned by the department.
“Electronic filing means that we can process returns faster, get refunds to taxpayers more quickly, and it costs less to process, which saves taxpayer dollars,” Bucks said. “We believe this is the first success in moving our tax system to electronic filing. It will be a faster and more cost efficient system.” The project also was completed on time and within the expected budget, Bucks said.