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The original item was published from 11/25/2014 8:53:58 AM to 12/24/2014 12:15:00 AM.

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Butte-Silver Bow

Posted on: November 25, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Butte-Silver Bow property values buck state average

Property values in Butte-Silver Bow are on the rise, fueled by higher-value homes and renewed interest from outside companies.

Values are estimated to go up for residents and businesses, unlike much of the rest of the state.

“Butte’s been doing fairly well,” said county assessor Dan Fisher. “There’s a lot of investors coming into Butte.”

Those investors include highly visible chain restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Hardees; both are in the planning stages and neither influenced the most recent value estimates, but their plans signal increased outside interest in Butte.

Fisher said that more homes in Butte are starting to creep into the half-million dollar price range. That's not necessarily driven by new construction, but simply reflects increased values.

Both commercial and residential values are expected to increase 7.5 percent, according to figures the Department of Revenue presented to state legislators last week. The figures are not set in stone, as the Legislature determines the final values. In the past cycle, changes were phased in over several years.

Residential property values grew the most in eastern Montana, driven by oil and gas development in the Bakken and high wheat prices in other areas in eastern Montana, in the Golden Triangle and along the Hi-Line.

Just because property values are going up doesn’t mean taxes are going up; property value is just one component in the formula that determines taxes. Butte-Silver Bow County expects that tax rates won’t rise.

“We should be able to keep those mill levies where they’re at,” Fisher said. “It’s a tough balancing act.”

Read the full story in the Montana Standard
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