State law could change how Butte charges property owners for road maintenance

Posted at 2:36 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 18:09:16-04

BUTTE – A Butte commissioner believes a recently adopted bill by the State Legislature may help Butte more fairly apply its road maintenance taxes.

“Well I think it opens up a lot of opportunities for communities to more equitability access the fees that are necessary to maintain the streets,” said Butte Commissioner Brendan McDonough.

He cites the recent passing of Senate Bill 243 which could give Butte the option to change last year’s $72 flat fee that would be charged to all property owners in the Silver Bow County for road maintenance.

“In our last effort the flat fee was the most equitable way allowed by state law and now we have the opportunity to go back and discuss it to see if we have better options,” said McDonough.

McDonough believes the commission should consider changing Butte’s fee assessment.

“So my communication is to just start the discussion back in the public works committee in the council to see how we might take advantage of these new options,” he said.

The commissioner is hoping the city can devise a pay scale where a larger property owner would pay a more fair share as, let’s say, a small, single-family dwelling.

“Whether somebody owns a duplex, or a fourplex or multiplex, or these living facilities that have more than one unit, we have more options to distribute these costs. The costs aren’t going away, but we can more equitably distribute them,” McDonough said.

Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News