MT Department of Revenue Pushes for Public Discloure of Property Sale Prices
As the 2015 legislative session gets underway, the Montana Department of Revenue is weighing in on a bill that would make public the final sale prices of commercial and residential property. Department of Revenue Director Mike Kadas says this disclosure will help the public contest changes in property taxes by giving more detailed information.
"We can show you the properties that we used for comparable values (usually about five), but we can't show you the ones that weren't used and that can make a huge difference," Kadas said. "We think that that information should be made avaliable for all property owners so that they can use that when contesting the value that we have assigned their property."
Kadas says the idea that property values is private information is a myth and that push-back against this legislation (which failed back in 2011) is mostly from Realtor organizations.
"There is a state law that says that the department may not provide that information, we have to hold it confidential, but it is a myth that the information is confidential," Kadas said. "The fact of the matter is, even though the department can't release it, almost all of it is accessible through the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) so there are 6,000 realtors throughout the state that have access to it."
The Montana Association of Realtors had come out against the public disclosure bill, citing polling which indicates a majority of Montanans are against the legislation. The bill is being carried by Missoula area representative Dick Barrett.