Senate Bill 409 revising state land cabin site laws has passed the Montana Senate. Senators acted on a fair and equitable solution for state lease fees, so prices won't plummet, site abandonment won't rise drastically, and beneficiaries (schools) won't see a significant loss of income.
It is now in the hands of the House Natural Resources Committee.
My husband and I are lease holders and hope to retire next year — at 69 and 63 respectively. If SB 409 passes, bringing the lease fees back in line with realistic values in our current economy, we'll be able to afford to keep our cabin and live there full time.
As hardworking Montanans, we have been self-employed for 30 years and provide jobs for several people.
Our children attended school here, we paid our taxes and always supported the schools by voting for school levys put on local ballets. Why should comparable privately owned lots in the same area be taxed at approximately $2,000 annually, when we should go from approximately $5,000 to $9,000 and finally to $13,000 annually.
We know of at least five other families, who will have to abandon their lease sites if SB 409 does not become law.
Both my husband and I find SB 409 to be a fair answer for state lease fees.
It provides true and full market value for state cabin sites. Respectfully, I ask — urge — our fellow Montanans to support their representatives yes vote on this bill without further amendments.
Karen May, Bigfork
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