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Montana Supreme Court says counties wrong on 95-mill tax issue

Ruling means 49 of 56 counties under-collected state school equalization dollars with property tax bills sent this fall

The Montana Supreme Court ruled last week against Montana county governments in a dispute over the Montana Department of Revenue's authority to order the full collection of the 95-mill state-level school equalization levy, a formerly obscure piece of tax bills that became a flash-point this fall as state and local officials contended with frustration over rising property taxes.

The ruling means that the 49 of 56 Montana counties that chose to collect a lower, 77.9-mill rate on tax bills sent to property owners this fall will likely have to make up the difference when they mail their next round...