Understanding Local School Taxes

  • Missoula County Public Schools receives funding from state and local sources. About 70% of MCPS general fund revenue comes from state funding. The remainder (about 30%) comes from local property taxes. A portion of this local funding comes from voted levies. 

    Donut Chart showing that local levies account for 20% of MCPS funding

Certified Taxable Valuation and Impact on School District Mills

  • An increase in the Department of Revenue (DOR)’s appraisal of property values does not result in any increase in revenue for school districts. In other words, local taxpayers will see no increase in taxes paid to school districts when property values increase. The increased taxable valuation means a higher mill value in the city and county, and fewer mills assessed by the school district. In the school district, it will take fewer mills to generate the specific sum of funds that are levied locally. The decline in mills is reflected in the linked graphs below, which show the number of elementary general fund mills declining by 21.39 and the high school general fund mills declining by 7.36 from 2019 to 2023.


    As applied to our recent (May 2023) ballots, MCPS estimated that passage of the $700,000 building reserve levy would result in an increase of 4.8 mills in the elementary district and 2.67 mills in the high school district. This estimate was based upon DOR certified taxable values from August of 2022. If the DOR reassessment results in an increase in taxable values of 37% in August of 2023, then the estimated mills needed to levy $700,000 would go down to 3.5 mills in the elementary district and 1.95 mills in the high school district, and no additional revenue is generated by virtue of the increase in taxable values. 


Additional Resources