Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - State Senator Keith Regier of Kalispell spoke to KGVO News on Monday evening about three property tax reduction bills he has introduced in the Montana Legislature.

The first is Senate Bill 145, which Regier said deals with the lodging tax, returning some of those dollars to the municipalities from which they were collected in order to lower property taxes.

Three Bills to help Lower Property Taxes

“Senate Bill 145 deals with lodging tax,” began Regier. “The accommodation taxes in Montana are 8 percent, and out of that 8 percent accommodation tax, three of those 8 percent goes right into the state general fund. To me, that money, instead of going into the state general fund, should go back to the cities and counties where it was generated. They're the ones that get stuck with increased sewer, water, fire, police, and everything like that that gets thrown on the local property taxpayers and to help lower property taxes.”

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The next bill that Senator Regier has introduced is Senate Bill 110, which would specifically lower property taxes for Montanans over the age of 80.

This Bill Specifically Lowers Property Taxes for those over 80

“What this bill would do is freeze the property value on the primary residence for anybody that's 80 years of age or older,” he said. “Now, it would freeze the value, not the property taxes but the value. So the value of their home would be frozen there. Home values have shot up a lot in the last few years, so it gives some kind of predictability in the last years of people's lives and helps them stay in their homes.”

Referencing the success over the decades of the Coal Tax Trust Fund, Senator Regier proposed Senate Bill 97 that would appropriate monies from the Renewable Portfolio Standard for property tax relief.

“Senate Bill 97 deals with the Renewable Portfolio Standard,” he said. “That was all about renewable energy. It was a bill that was passed in the 2005 session and it was to promote wind and solar as electric generating facilities and really what is doing is trying to replace coal.”

Using Wind and Solar Dollars to Reduce Property Taxes

He explained how this bill would also help to lower property taxes.

“Senate Bill 97 would put a one dollar per megawatt produced tax on that renewable portfolio standard generation,” he said. “That money then would go to help pay down the county transportation costs for schools, which property taxpayers pay for.”

Click the links to read Senator Regier’s proposed bills before the Montana legislature.

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