Friday, July 14, 2023

Scissor time

DH got most of the windows washed. What he had the energy for and what he could reach from the regular ladder. The two windows in front, up above the patio cover are almost impossible to get to, and of course the dirtiest. We're still trying to figure out the best/safest way to do those two windows. He can't even reach with a long pole, because of the porch roof. He was pretty worn out. We have a lot of windows, plus he did outsides, too.

He was chatting with our UPS guy yesterday when he made a delivery. He said the UPS corporate execs are giving themselves a BILLION dollars for bonus's, while they are asking the drivers (not sure if this is just in our area or all over) to take a $5/hr pay cut.  

I received my state income tax rebate in my account this morning, but my mom's hasn't shown up yet, though her says processed the same day as mine. And we bank at the same bank, LOL.

I had a nice chat with one of my co-workers yesterday. She is not new to the company, but she is a bit new to her position and is still learning/figuring things out. She called me up yesterday to ask some questions on a process related to her job. She first greeted me and asked me how it's going and I said it's good, how are you? She said well....not the greatest. I said well, then let's see what we can do to fix that for you! She was like oh gosh, you are the best. Anyhow we talked through some procedures. She was really feeling like she's adding more work to me and I assured her she's really not, but I can tell on her end she is dealing with more. I think mostly she was worried that when she has to deal with issues and keep me in the loop for billing purposes, she is bothering me and I assured her this is normal for these particular customers. 

The excessive property tax assessments are starting to make a hubbub throughout the state. Democratic lawmakers are calling for the governor to do a special session to address it. Republicans are blaming the Dems. The Dept of Revenue is blaming the lawmakers, the state is blaming the counties. I've read articles that try to spin it "well, your taxes aren't "likely" to go up that much (sure....). Or that be careful might have your assessment increase more! (good scare tactic). The governor is apparently balking at a special session, saying they tried to work with the Dems earlier on it and they didn't want to and that we are getting the $675 property tax rebate. I have seem many comments that this rebate is not a fix to the permanent problem. Nor was it intended to, in my opinion. They had a surplus of funds in the state coffers so did an income tax rebate and a property tax rebate. The concern and anger over the issue does seem to be building momentum, though. I hope these counties and/or the dept of revenue are bombarded with appeals. There are 2 ways to appeal, you can appeal to county board or request an "informal review" by the DOR. I opted to appeal to the county board.

The more assessed values I research and add to my spreadsheet the less and less it seems fair or makes sense. There is a neighborhood of river properties about 1.3 to 2 acres of "medium" high bank river. There are 20 lots. The first 4 lots land increased that 65% I'm seeing for most river lots all over the county. Then the rest of the 16 lots all only increased 3%. Why?! How is the lot that went up 65% any different than the lot next to it that went up 3%? All the lots are part of the same neighborhood, on the same street. Just makes zero sense. In the next town from us, but still in our county, there is a large neighborhood of approx 2 acre lots all along the river, low bank, so all usable/buildable properties. All of them went up 55%. At a minimum they'd better reduce our increase to the 65% every other river lot went up.

And then another recent article where they interviewed someone from the Dept of Revenue, who said it's not their fault. They are just doing what our state law says they have to do - appraise every 2 years at MARKET value. Yet...there are homes and property for sale (and likely lots that have sold in the past year) that are for sale WAY more than what they just got appraised for. There are lots for sale (like 20 acre lots) of recreation type lots (most have vacation/second homes, on the lots built there). The land, for 20 acres is appraised at $1100....yet they are listing it for $200k, presumably that's what they and their realtor are thinking market value is - and likely at least $100,000. Certainly not $1100 fricken dollars. Give me a break. There is likely nowhere in this whole country you could buy 20 acres for $1100. And  especially not in Montana, with access to a lake (as these 20 acres have). The DOR person also said they use comps of sold property, so when I am at my hearing, I am going to request the comps used to value my home.

Dh is mowing the lawn again today. He probably could have waited one more day, but we have friends coming tomorrow morning for the weekend, so he needs to get it done today. I'm going to use my lunch break today to vacuum, haha. Other than that the house is clean for guests. We're also supposed to have hot sunny weather this weekend. I may run into the store this afternoon, after work for a few things. We're going to be out and about most of Saturday, so I'm sure we'll eat out, but I'm trying to figure what to do for breakfast Sunday. I think I'll just make some blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs, but I'd kind of like to pick up some fruit to go with. Maybe some juice.

I also trimmed my hair after showering this morning and tried a new method to layer (youtube, of course). Its a much easier method, but I was being cautious on how much to cut, so I think I need to do a little more. But, I'll give styling a try first before I decide to do more.


  1. My son and dil got a check in the mail for no apparent. It said it was processed on the 3rd and they didn’t get it, didn’t get, and finally a check showed up. That could be what happened with your moms money. They have always done direct deposit for refunds with no problems, so this was confusing.

    I have heard of people here appealing their appraisals and then having them go up, so that really does happen. I don’t think they’d dare do that this year, but who knows. I’m not too worried about it. Yes my appraisal went way up, but it does go up every two years, and some years our taxes go down. I expect an increase, but not as much as they say. That’s simply not going to happen.


  2. The discrepancy in lots next to each other is very strange. However, I would not be scared off by the threat that the assessment might go up. I know you will have all the information at hand when you do get to protest. I know Montana is a long way from here, but I have heard nothing of these problems. I would hire someone to wash those windows before I would take a chance on husband getting hurt. Plus, I would wait until he is well-rested if he must do it himself.

  3. It sounds like the state needs someone who could check assessments to make sure that there is a level of fairness between neighboring properties. If the values were evened out everyone would pay a fair share and some assessments would not be so astronomical. You could present a job proposal and say that for $200000 a year you could do it.

  4. I can't believe UPS want their drivers to accept a $5 AN HOUR salary drop!!!! That is insane, especially when the bigwigs are giving themselves massive pay increases!