The Lewis and Clark County Commission added the tax collection function to the Sheriff's Office in December 1995 to deal with the large number of delinquent tax bills on personal property. One deputy is assigned to this function.
A total of 307 tax writs were served in 1996 which resulted in the collection of $196,902.76 in back taxes.
The tax collection process includes several approaches. The individual(s) are first contacted about the delinquency and an effort is made to assist the taxpayer to become current. If these efforts fail, then seizure and sale of property may be the next step. This process may range from seizing bank accounts to vehicles to farm equipment. While the seizure process was begun many times, only two properties actually went to sale in 1996.
The Tax Collection deputy is also responsible for the final handling of vehicles ordered towed by the Sheriff's patrol officers, the court ordered immobilization of vehicles, and the abandoned vehicle program.
Inquiries should be directed to:
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office
406 Fuller AVE.
Helena, MT 59601