Montana Tax Appeal Board

APPEAL PROCESS

  • Procedures & Suggestions for Property Tax Appeals
  • 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. A list of DOR regional offices can be found here. 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. A County tax appeal must be filed 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 June. This is not the tax bill you will receive from the County, which is usually mailed in late summer.  Taxpayers must appeal within 30 days from the appraisal notice before the tax 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 or MTAB.

4.  The county tax appeal board secretary will be notified of your appeal and schedule a hearing in the county seat of the county in which the property at issue is located, 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 of CTAB decisions may be made to the Montana Tax Appeal Board within 30 days of the receipt of the county tax appeal board decision.

8.  A MTAB 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 a MTAB 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 Board holds hearings in person at the Montana Tax Appeal Board office, 560 N. Park Ave., Suite 201 in Helena. These hearings take approximately two hours. Equal time is given to both the taxpayer and the DOR for their presentation. During their presentation, either party may introduce exhibits or call witnesses in support of their cases. Time will be allowed for cross-examination of witnesses and questions of either party. The Board may consider alternatives to in-person hearings in Helena, to be determined on a case-by-case basis, for reasons which may include health or financial hardship. In rare circumstances, the Board may utilize its discretion to hear the appeal on the record by considering the existing record and CTAB transcript, with additional sworn statements per Mont. Code Ann. 15-2-301(2)(b). 

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 containing 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 an acceptance letter and information to join a scheduling conference call. On the call, the case status and scheduling dates will be discussed.

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