Articles written by Eric Dietrich

Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 48

 By Eric Dietrich    News    September 27, 2023 

Montana counties, governor spar over property tax that funds schools

Months of finger-pointing between state-level Republicans and local government leaders over who to blame for rising property taxes escalated last week as the lobbying organization that represents county governments sent a late-night press release... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    September 27, 2023 

New census data helps define Montana's affordable housing crunch

Just how deep do Montana's widely discussed housing affordability woes run? Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau sheds some statistical light on one facet of the challenge. Housing... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    August 23, 2023

What ballooning home values mean for one tenant and her landlord

Sara Feilzer was feeling the heat of Montana's boiling-hot housing prices last year. Her home, a quirky one-and-a-half-bedroom basement apartment she has rented in central Helena since 2018, was... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    August 2, 2023

What are Montana's busiest highways?

It's the time of year when it seems like everybody and their dog is hitting the road for summer trips, so we thought we'd take a look at which stretches of Montana highway rank as the busiest. As it...

 By Eric Dietrich    News    July 19, 2023

Five ways to lower Montana's residential property taxes

Homeowners across Montana received a nasty shock in the mail last month, coming in the form of state property reappraisal notices that generally indicated the 2023 valuations used to calculate property taxes have spiked over the two-year reappraisal...

 By Eric Dietrich    News    June 28, 2023

Department of Revenue Notices: Notices: Are your property taxes going up?

If you’re fortunate enough to own a home in Montana, keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a reappraisal notice from the state Department of Revenue that will tell you how much the property value used to calculate your tax bill has changed over t... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    May 31, 2023

Montana TikTok ban draws multiple court challenges

Less than a week after Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill that will ban Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok in Montana, the newly minted law has already drawn court challenges, one filed last...

 By Eric Dietrich    News    May 17, 2023

How the 2023 Legislature tried to tackle Montana's housing crunch

by Eric Dietrich Montana Free Press This is news to no one: Montana is facing a historic housing crunch. Population growth, much of it driven by in-migration, has spurred demand for homes and apartments beyond available supply in many if not most of...

 By Eric Dietrich    News    May 3, 2023

Gianforte signals he'll sign TikTok ban - but prefers changes first

Gov. Greg Gianforte is pushing for revisions to a proposed ban on the social media platform TikTok passed by the Legislature this month, suggesting the bill's backers amend its provisions to apply to...

 By Eric Dietrich    News    April 26, 2023

Pro-housing zoning bills advance, but big funding remains in limbo

A slate of zoning bills intended to spur home construction by limiting how local governments can regulate housing development appears headed toward passage following votes on the floor of the Montana House in recent weeks. However, bills that would p... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    April 19, 2023

House joins Senate in endorsing Montana TikTok ban

The Montana House followed the lead of the state Senate Thursday to endorse a statewide ban on the social media platform TikTok. Senate Bill 419, sponsored by Rep. Shelly Vance, R-Belgrade, would bar... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    March 22, 2023

Gianforte signs $1 billion Republican tax rebate, tax-cut package into law

Flanked by dozens of Republican lawmakers on the steps of the state Capitol, Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a tax cut, rebate and spending package totalling more than $1 billion last week. The eight-bill... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    March 15, 2023

Montana's housing puzzle at the legislative halftime

There’s broad bipartisan agreement in the Montana Capitol that rising housing costs, driven by the state’s finite supply of homes and rapid in-migration from other states, rank among the most pressing issues facing Montana residents. According...

 By Eric Dietrich    News    March 8, 2023

Montana Senate votes forward statewide TikTok ban

The Montana Senate voted Thursday to advance a statewide ban on Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok, calling the service a threat to privacy, national security and public safety. The text of Senate Bill 419, sponsored by Sen. Shelley Vance,... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    February 8, 2023

Bill would force Montana cities to allow smaller home lots

A bill heard Tuesday at the Montana Legislature aims to increase the number of modestly priced homes available to Montana residents by reining in the power of city and town governments to require that new homes be built on properties of a certain... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    February 1, 2023

How to spend a $2.5 billion surplus?

As lawmakers negotiate Montana's next state budget this winter, the Republican-controlled Capitol has a once-in-a-generation windfall to spend - the state's $2.5 billion surplus. Naturally, opinions o... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    November 2, 2022

Gianforte pushes trades education, additional construction as fixes for Montana housing crunch

Standing in front of a luxury apartment complex under construction in Bozeman Thursday, Gov. Greg Gianforte touted his efforts to address Montana's housing affordability crunch by promoting new residential development. Flanked by construction...

 By Eric Dietrich    News    October 26, 2022

Housing Task Force presents recs to Governor

A task force charged with identifying solutions for Montana's housing crunch formally passed recommendations for legislative action to Gov. Greg Gianforte Wednesday, teeing up debates over state... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    October 19, 2022

Housing task force details regulatory reforms, other proposals aimed at affordability crunch

A draft report released last week by Gov. Greg Gianforte's housing task force details a slew of ideas to boost housing supply in an effort to tackle Montana's affordability crunch, previewing legislation that could be advanced by the governor and... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    July 27, 2022

Governor focuses housing task force on regulatory relief

As Gov. Greg Gianforte described the job facing his newly convened housing task force Wednesday, he made a point of asking the group's 26 members to think outside the box as they spend the next... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    July 6, 2022

Tax-cap measure CI-121 and other initiatives will miss the fall ballot

A proposed property tax cap and three other ballot initiatives supporters had hoped to put before Montana voters in November's general election are dead in the water after failing to meet... Full story

 By Eric Dietrich    News    February 9, 2022

¾ of Montana's return-to-work bonus funds went unclaimed

Gov. Greg Gianforte's Return to Work bonus program, announced last year as he scaled back expanded pandemic unemployment benefits, ultimately paid about one-fourth as many bonuses as the state initial... Full story


Research study shows rising housing costs driven by Montana home shortage

The root cause of Montana's increasingly stifling housing market? Too few homes to go around, a researcher told a legislative committee studying the state's economic condition Monday.  "There is by any metric an enormous housing shortage in this... Full story


How Montana got its new congressional map

HELENA - With a final vote Friday, Montana's Districting and Apportionment Commission made it official: The state has a new congressional map, political lines drawn to define how Montanans are... Full story


Fire season 2021: Early to start, late to finish, and smoky in the middle

The state's first major winter storm dropped snow on parts of southern Montana early this week, signaling the final act of an active fire season that had prompted Gov. Greg Gianforte to issue a...


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