Open Lands Levy
This June, We have the opportunity to plan for the future.
On June 5, 2018, we have the opportunity to renew our commitment to the Gallatin County Open Lands Program. There will be an Open Lands Mill Levy on the ballot, which would raise 4.5 mills for conservation efforts; 4 mills would be dedicated to open land conservation, and .5 mills for Gallatin County Parks, including Gallatin County Regional Park, and trail improvements and maintenance.
The levy will raise over $20,000,000 for conservation over a 15-year period, costing taxpayers $6.00 for every $100,000 in property value.
Let's do this together.
A RESOLUTION FROM THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF GALLATIN COUNTY, MONTANA, SUBMITTING TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE COUNTY OF GALLATIN FOR THE PRIMARY ELECTION ON JUNE 5, 2018, THE QUESTION OF AUTHORIZING THE GALLATIN COUNTY COMMISSION TO LEVY UP TO FOUR AND ONE-HALF (4.50) MILLS TO SUPPORT OPEN SPACE CAPITAL NEEDS INCLUDING THE PURCHASE OF LAND AND CONSERVATION
EASEMENTS FROM WILLING LANDOWNERS TO CONSERVE FARM AND RANCH
LANDS, PROVIDE RECREATION, PROTECT WATER QUALITY OF STREAMS AND
RIVERS, MANAGE GROWTH, PROTECT WILDLIFE AREAS AND FOR OTHER
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND MAINTENANCE. THE MILL LEVY IS IN ADDITION TO THE LIMIT IMPOSED BY LAW, AND IS FOR A PERIOD OF 15 YEARS.
WHEREAS, in February, 2018, Gallatin County was asked to consider seeking voter approval to increase the number of mills to support Open Space; and
WHEREAS, the Commission wants to give the residents of Gallatin County an opportunity to voice their opinion on proposed tax increases to support Open Space needs within Gallatin County; and
WHEREAS, each proposed project will go through an application process, which will include total cost, the percentage of county contribution to the project, ongoing costs and other relevant information. The applications will be reviewed by a citizen advisory committee, which will make a recommendation to the County Commission; and
WHEREAS, the Commission intends that the 4.50 mills would be used to support Open Space activity for the leveraged funding of easements, to conserve open space, to purchase land, to make capital improvements, and for maintenance, as is presently authorized in Montana’s Open Space Act; and
WHEREAS, the proposed mill levy would provide for the county’s funding of open space for the next fifteen years; and
WHEREAS, unless the Legislature changes county property tax valuations or taxable limits, Gallatin County’s Finance Office opines that the value of one mill will increase for FY 19 and for the foreseeable future; and
WHEREAS, the estimated annual tax for a home with an assessed value of $100,000 for 4.50 mills is $6.08 using 2018 valuations; andWHEREAS, the estimated annual tax for a home with an assessed value of $200,000 for 4.50 mills is $12.15 using 2018 valuations.
WHEREAS, upon voter approval, and after levying 4.5 mills in 2018, approximately $1,291,344.00 would be available to fund the capital needs of Open Space in Gallatin County.
NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED:
1. That the specific purpose for which the additional money is to be used is to support open space capital needs including the purchase of land and conservation easements from willing landowners to conserve farm and ranch lands, provide recreation, protect water quality of streams and rivers, manage growth, protect wildlife areas and for other capital improvements and maintenance.
2. That the specific number of mills to be imposed is four and one-half (4.5).
3. That the approximate amount of money to be raised, based on Gallatin County’s Fiscal Year 2018 mill rate, is $1,291,344.00.
4. That any approved levy shall terminate within 15 years.
5. That the Gallatin County Commission may decide in any year to levy less than the 4.5 mills approved by the voters.
6. That the Board of Commissioners of Gallatin County, Montana, does hereby call and direct to be held in the County of Gallatin on June 5, 2018, an election for the purpose of voting on the question of authorization to levy, in addition to the mill levy limit imposed by law, up to four and one-half (4.50) mills dedicated to capital expenses for Gallatin County’s Open Space Program. The election shall be held in conjunction with the regular election on said date.
7. That all qualified electors of the County of Gallatin, Montana, shall be entitled to vote at the primary election. The Election Administrator is hereby requested and authorized to proceed with the election in the form and manner prescribed by law.
8. That the Election Administrator is hereby requested and authorized to cause notice of the call and holding of the election to be published as set forth in the attached Exhibit “A” at least once a week for three consecutive weeks before the election in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and any other newspaper of general circulation in the county (or by radio or television broadcast).
9. The election shall be conducted in conjunction with the primary election on June 5, 2018.
10. That the Election Administrator is hereby requested and authorized to prepare suitable ballots as described in the attached Exhibit “B” for use at the election together with the precinct registers and any other necessary and proper election supplies.11. That a copy of this resolution will be provided to the Election Administrator no later than March 6, 2018 after its adoption and approval in order to inform her of the details of the election and the pertinent requests and authorizations as to the conduct of the election.