Hamilton approves budget, property taxes going up


HAMILTON, Mont. - Property taxes are going up in the city of Hamilton. Hamilton's city council approved a final budget of more than $10 million.

Council voted 5-to-1 to approve a 40-percent tax hike over last year.

The State Department of Revenue calculates taxes on a $200,000 house will go from about $300 a year to $492 a year.

The city decreased taxes the past two years.

Supporters said the city needs to make up that money for needed infrastructure projects and other costs for personnel, health insurance and operating costs.

Not many people came to testify at the city council's public hearing Tuesday evening.

But Barbara Brown, whois on a fixed income, did.

"There are a lot of people that are in the same boat as I am," Brown told the council. "And I do not have the money for additional taxes."

City finance administrator Craig Shepherd said, "This year we are asking to get back up to that level. So yes, we're looking at an increase in our property taxes, but not above an amount that is allowed."

The city council also approved spending $230,000 to buy property for a new Justice Center, but there are no immediate plans to build the center.