They’re here.

Missoula County Clerk and Treasurer Tyler Gernant said on Thursday that all Missoula County property tax bills will be in the mail by Monday, October 28, and that taxpayers should take a deep breath and closely examine their tax bill.

“The first thing is to examine it,” said Gernant. “Look at your taxable value and your market value. Your market value is typically the biggest driver of your taxes. Take a look and make sure it’s within a reasonable range of what your property is worth. From there, you can look at each individual assessment and tax.”

Gernant said there were three or four groups, depending upon where you live.

“There are county taxes which everyone in Missoula County pays, there are school taxes for the local county schools, there are city taxes, only for those who live in the city, and then there are special districts, and those depend on where you live as well.”

For those with questions regarding any one of those parts of the tax bill, Gernant said the Missoula County Treasurers website has information on each of those taxing jurisdictions.

Gernant provided the deadlines for paying property taxes.

“The first half payment is going to be due on December 2nd because the last day of November falls on a weekend this year,” he said. “The second half payment is due on the first of June in 2020. We honor the postmark date, so if for some reason you’re not able to make it in, or pay online, as long as the postmark is prior to the deadline, we will honor that as a timely payment. If you’re not able to pay on time, there is a two percent penalty assessed by Montana state law, so you’ll automatically go up two percent of whatever the payment was.”

Gernant said there is a method for protesting, however, that primarily deals with a disagreement over the valuation of the property, but the taxes must still be paid on time.

He said for anyone who is having trouble reading or understanding their property tax statement, he and his staff want them to call their office.

“We’re the place I’d like you to call,” he said. “As bad as it sounds, I actually enjoy talking about taxes. Taxes pay for important things in our community, so it’s important to remember that without our local property taxes we wouldn’t have police or fire protection and our roads wouldn’t be getting serviced. There are important things that the taxes pay for that we all benefit from.”