According to a recent Lee State Bureau story, Missoula's property taxes are the highest among the state's seven major cities. When you add up all the mills levied by the city, county, school districts, the university system, the state, etc., Missoula's total comes to about 720.20 mills, about 9 mills more than last year.
Answer the following:
1. If the taxable value on a typical Missoula home is $2,756.89, how much will its owners pay in property taxes this year?
2. In 1992, Swibold paid $1,156.92 in property taxes. For 2005, he will pay $2,083.56. How much have his taxes increased in real percentage terms?
Send your answers as a comment to this blog entry. As always, any pertinent observations on this stuff would be welcome as well.
The answer to Question 2 requires two steps.
1. You know that a dollar buys less each year. That’s called inflation. It happens. So if you hope to be accurate comparing dollar amounts from different years, you have to adjust for inflation. There’s a formula for that, but I prefer using an online inflation calculator provided by America’s official inflation watcher, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It will tell you what a dollar amount from a bygone year would be worth today. Once you find that, you can do a simple calculation to determine the percentage increase.
2. Here’s that formula for that: (New number – Old number) divided by Old number.
Example: A Missoulian will pay about 720 mills this year compared to 711 mills last year. Here’s how you would calculate the percentage increase using the “NOO!” formula:
(720-711) = 9
9 divided by 711 = .0126 or 1.26 percent