Missoulians often complain about high taxes and according to state data, they’re not wrong. Analyst Bob Story from the Montana Taxpayers Association says Missoula leads the pack among the state’s big cities when it comes to high property taxes.

"Missoula is the King of the Mountain as far as mill levy assessments against it's taxpayers," Story said. "If we start with Billings as the lowest at 161 then Helena is 167, Great falls is 198, Kalispell is 212, Bozeman is 214 and then Missoula is 260."

For those still confused on what exactly a “mill” is, it is one tenth of one percent, or one thousandth. For example a property valued at $1,000 would pay $1 per mill in property taxes.

Not only are the number of mills higher in Missoula than in other big cities, the value of each mill is also extremely high.

Data Compiled by Jon King
Data Compiled by Jon King

"Missoula has the second highest value of mills also, so not only do they collect a lot of mills, each mill brings in relatively more money than most of the other cites," Story said. "Billings has the highest mill value at $195,000 per mill and then Missoula is second at about $118,000 per mill.

Even with the slight reduction in taxes proposed by the Missoula City Council this fiscal year, new data shows Missoula residents will still be paying substantially more than other Montanans to keep their city running.

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