The Bozeman City Commission will put a ballot measure on the November ballot to increase property taxes by $60 a year for the average home ($582,450) to help fund affordable housing. They are proposing a 7 mill levy over the next 8 years that would raise an estimated $10 million or $1.25 million per year. The state legislature pass a new law this year banning what's called Inclusionary Zoning that required developers to sell a certain percentage of their homes at an affordable price. This proposed property tax increase by the City of Bozeman is their answer to that.
Approximately 40% (8,000) of the homes in Bozeman are rentals. When a landlord's costs go up (like property taxes) the rents commonly go up to cover the increased cost. I'm not sure how raising the cost of living on 8,000 rental properties to fund 20 or 50 or 100 "affordable homes" is a step in the right direction?
Builders have repeatedly told the city that with the high cost of land in Bozeman, the cost of labor and the cost of building materials, it is physically impossible to build affordable housing that would fit someone making 70% or 80% of the median income.
Again, the city's answer is to raise property taxes on 20,000 homes in Bozeman to build a handful of affordable homes. Affordable housing is a complicated issue and there is no magic bullet but wouldn't lowering the cost of living for everyone in Bozeman be a better step in the right direction to affordable housing?