The Missoula County Commissioners are proposing a tax increase for county residents for the next fiscal year.

"Overall, we've managed to keep it down to a 4.75 percent expenditure increase," said Missoula County Chief Financial Officer Andrew Czorny. "This is very difficult this year, I'll be honest with you, we've been holding back the budget for many years now and, well, the dam just sort of burst and we were forced to raise taxes this year."

The increase means the owner of a $200,000 property will be paying another $23.67 cents over last year. Czorny explains what caused the need for the increase.

"It was a number of things," Czorny said. "With the tech fund, it was just bringing our systems up to date, creating a new website, a new tax viewing system, and other elements to hopefully make the county more transparent. On the general fund side, it could be attributed to a number of things, for example the Department of Justice settlement, the $150,000 payment we have to make their for the oversight, the additional personnel there.  Just, right out of the box, we were under the water by about $600,000."

A final public hearing on the budget will take place on Wednesday at 199 W. Pine in Missoula at 1:30 p.m..