- Procedures & Suggestions for Preparing a Property Tax Appeal
- Be sure to check under the Reference Materials tab for additional materials that may be helpful to you.
- Note: If you are appealing your property taxes and you believe that the description of your property on the property record card is incorrect you need to contact the Department of Revenue directly. The DOR appraiser can visit the property and correct the property record card. The Montana Tax Appeal Board does not have appraisers and cannot make changes on the property record card.
The County Tax Appeal Board: First Step for Property Tax Appeals
1. The County Tax Appeal Board is an independent Board appointed by the County Commissioners and not connected with the Department of Revenue.
2. You must file an appeal with your local county tax appeal board within 30 days of the date on your notice of classification and appraisal from the Department of Revenue or 30 days after you receive a decision from the Department of Revenue following an informal review under Form AB-26.
NOTE: The appraisal is usually mailed in the spring. This is not the tax bill you will receive from the County, which is usually mailed in late summer. Generally, you must appeal the appraisal before the bill arrives.
3. You can access the proper form to use here. Appeal forms may also be obtained through your county clerk and recorder. All appeal forms are filed with the county clerk and recorder in the county where the property is located, not with the Department of Revenue.
4. The county tax appeal board will schedule a hearing on the appeal in the county seat of the county in which the property at issue is located and hear your case, generally between July 1 and December 31.
5. Be sure to bring sufficient copies of the materials you intend to present to the county tax appeal board: five copies of printed materials and two copies of any photographs you wish the board to consider.
6. The county tax appeal board will issue a decision on your appeal, which will be mailed to you.
The Montana Tax Appeal Board:
Property Tax Appeals:
7. An appeal may be made to the Montana Tax Appeal Board within 30 days of the receipt of the county tax appeal board decision.
8. An appeal can be made by filling out these form(s): Appeal to MTAB Form | Answer to MTAB Appeal Form. Reasons for appeal and value sought should be included in the form, as well as signature and affirmation that the appeal was sent to MTAB and a copy provided to the DOR. A copy of the county tax appeal form and the county decision should be attached.
9. After you file an appeal, you will receive an acceptance letter and information to join a scheduling conference call. On the call the case status and scheduling dates will be discussed.
10.The Montana Tax Appeal Board has three types of hearings for an appeal of a decision of a county tax appeal board:
a. Travel to Helena for hearing before the Montana Tax Appeal Board.
b. Hold a telephonic or video hearing.
c. Hear the appeal on the record. This means we will provide the parties (the taxpayer and the Department of Revenue) with a copy of the transcript of the county tax appeal board hearing. Within a specified time period, the parties will submit additional statements or materials to the Montana Tax Appeal Board and to each other. The Board will then make a decision based upon the written record.
11. Assistance for the hearing process is available here.
12. The Montana Tax Appeal Board will issue a written decision after hearing the appeal. Either party aggrieved by a decision of the Montana Tax Appeal Board may seek judicial review in Lewis and Clark County (First Judicial District) or in the judicial district in which the property is located. Judicial review must be sought within 60 days of the date of the decision of the Montana Tax Appeal Board. If granted, judicial review will not be an evidentiary hearing but will be based on the findings of fact issued in the Montana Tax Appeal Board decision, testing only the legal conclusions of that decision.
All Other Tax Appeals:
1. Direct appeal must be made to this Board within 30 days of the receipt of the final department decision. Direct appeals are those which come to us from a decision of the Department of Revenue, Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Quality. These appeals are not reviewed first by a county tax appeal board, which hears only property tax appeals, and involve such issues as income taxes, natural resource and corporation license tax, centrally assessed property taxes, new industry, motor fuels tax, applications for property tax exemption, and disputes concerning the certification of air and water pollution control equipment. When making such appeal to this Board, please be sure to include a copy of the final department decision and a copy of the hearing examiner's findings of fact and conclusions of law, if any. The appeal itself can be in the form of a letter containg a brief statement of the issue.
2. As with property taxes, the Board may hold a hearing in Helena, a telephonic or video hearing or consider the case on the record without a hearing. See #10 above.
3. After you file an appeal, you will receive a questionnaire about the nature of the case which must be completed and returned within two weeks so that the case can be scheduled for appropriate consideration.