LA Times Takes on Northwest Montana Reappraisals

By Beacon Staff

A reader pointed out this story that ran in the Los Angeles Times this week. It’s a familiar theme, as writer Kim Murphy interviews longtime residents who face staggering tax bills because of recent reappraisals, but it’s still worth a read. Murphy talks to Charles Abell, the recently retired president of Whitefish Credit Union.

Abell can be forgiven if he sometimes feels like roadkill on the highway to the New West.

“There’s no relationship between these tax bills and your ability to pay. It’s just that we’re the beginning of the food chain,” said Abell one recent afternoon, sitting in work shirt and suspenders. “They tell us, ‘You’re sitting on a couple million dollars; why don’t you sell it?’ But this is where I raised my children. It’s not for sale. It’s my home.”

What is happening in northwest Montana, along with other newly tony areas of the state like Bozeman and the Paradise Valley, has transformed the country since frontier days: New money moves in, older homes get bulldozed.

Read the entire story here.

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