Commissioner approve late fee for delinquent taxes

VIRGINIA CITY – At their regular commission meeting in Virginia City on Tuesday Madison County Commissioners authorized the county treasurer to charge an additional fee of $1 per month for delinquent tax notices that have been sent three times or more up to an amount not to exceed $10.

The move comes after a discussion with county treasurer Shelly Burke regarding the additional expense of paper, envelopes and stamps required for sending multiple notices not covered by the statutory penalty and interest on delinquent taxes. She said at times there are multiple notices sent out as many as nine or ten times, and often times the taxes can go unpaid for over a year.

“Sometimes it just builds a fire under people, you’d be amazed, if they see they’re going to be charged a dollar on their $2.50 bill, they may pay it instead,” Burke said.

The board also met with David Kack, program manager for Mobility and Public Transportation research at the Western Transportation Institute, to discuss the county’s contribution of $30,000 to the Skyline Bus budget running from Bozeman to Big Sky. The county has contributed the same amount each year for the last five years, and commissioner Jim Hart explained that part of the reason Madison County supports the bus route is for health and safety reasons to help reduce the amount of traffic on Highway 191 through the Gallatin Canyon.

Commissioner Dave Schulz explained the benefit the Skyline Bus system offers for Madison County.

“We fund it because a good part of the ridership from Gallatin County goes up and works on projects in Madison County, so we’re getting the benefit of the labor,” Schulz said. “And that’s a reasonable payback for people paying taxes to Madison County on a development property or residential property.”

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