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Wage growth in Missoula

MIssoula County wage growth compared to the statewide average.

Property taxes are growing in Montana, and this year they're the topic of a statewide economic outlook tour.

The University of Montana announced recently that the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana will visit nine Montana cities for the 41st year to deliver its local, state and national economic outlooks.

The tour is scheduled to kick off Tuesday, Jan. 26, in Helena, and the bureau will release its Montana Economic Report 2016 at the events. The university calls the tax topic an issue of importance to many living or doing business in Montana.

"One of the reasons why Montana's oldest tax is among the least popular is because it is also the least understood," the BBER said. "And in most communities, it continues to increase."

Speakers will discuss how the property tax works, why it keeps growing, and whether it's prepared for the future.

On the agenda, according to UM:

  • Doug Young, professor emeritus of economics at Montana State University, will discuss Montana’s current property tax system and its viability for the future in his keynote address, “Rising Property Tax Bills: What You Should Know.”
  • BBER economist Patrick Barkey will deliver the national and state outlooks.
  • BBER economist Paul Polzin will present economic forecasts for each seminar city.
  • Industry specialists will provide the outlook for economic sectors: nonresident travel, health care, real estate and housing, agriculture, manufacturing, forest-industry products, and energy.

The seminars run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. as follows:

  • Helena: Tuesday, Jan. 26, Best Western Great Northern Hotel.
  • Great Falls: Wednesday, Jan. 27, Hilton Garden Inn.
  • Missoula: Friday, Jan. 29, Hilton Garden Inn.
  • Billings: Tuesday, Feb. 2, Northern Hotel.
  • Bozeman: Wednesday, Feb. 3, The Commons at Baxter and Love.
  • Butte: Thursday, Feb. 4, NorthWestern Energy Butte general office.
  • Kalispell: Friday, Feb. 12, Hilton Garden Inn.
  • Lewistown: Tuesday, March 15, Central Montana Education Center.
  • Havre: Wednesday, March 16, MSU-Northern, Hensler Auditorium.

Registration costs $85, which includes the Montana Economic Report, the PowerPoint presentation, lunch and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly. Continuing education credits are available. Groups of five or more can receive a discount by registering online at

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Higher Education Reporter

Higher education / University of Montana reporter for the Missoulian.