HELENA, November 2, 2007 — The State of Montana has returned nearly $85 million in property tax refunds to Montana home owners so far, Governor Brian Schweitzer announced today.
“Everywhere I go across Montana, people tell me stories about how they spent their $400 tax rebate,” said Governor Schweitzer. “From fixing the roof to new clothes for the kids, Montanans are spending their rebates in Montana, further keeping our economy on the move.”
“We’ve got the lowest unemployment, our wages are growing 3rd fastest and our economy is growing faster than 90% of the rest of the nation,” he added. “That’s why we can give this money back to Montanans.”
The Department of Revenue began processing claims for the $400 property tax refund on August 27 and, as of October 31, had issued refunds totaling $84,942,420 to 215,420 Montana households. On average, those who have applied online receive their refund in 3 to 5 days. Paper applications take a bit longer.
85% of the estimated 254,000 homeowners who are expected to qualify for the tax refund have already applied. The remaining homeowners have until December 31st to apply, and are encouraged to do so soon. Even those who did not receive a personalized application in the mail should apply if they think they are eligible.
In particular, the Department of Revenue is reminding Montana’s farm and ranch families that they may qualify for the $400 property tax refund, even if their homes are owned as a family business. Provisions in the law allow members of family farm and ranch corporations who own at least 20% of the corporation to qualify, if they meet the residency requirement.
There are several ways to get an application form. Property owners may submit a refund claim online at mt.gov/revenue. In addition, there is a downloadable application form on the website that can be printed and mailed to the department. Paper application forms also are available at county treasurers’ offices, local Department of Revenue offices and larger public libraries.
Overall, the program is expected to provide nearly $100 million in property tax refunds to residential homeowners.