Online fundraiser keeps Missoula residents from losing their homes

Posted at 10:51 AM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 12:51:44-04

MISSOULA – An online fundraiser has saved dozens of people from losing their homes due to unpaid tax bills.

The Missoula County Clerk and Treasurer’s Office collects property taxes on 5,000 mobile homes every year and unpaid taxes were due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Residents who still had unpaid taxes after the deadline saw their mobile homes go up for auction Wednesday.

A GoFundMe effort raised more than $9,700 to help those homeowners pay off what they owe. Generally, the amount owed is around $250.

At the end of the day on Tuesday, the online effort paid off 31 tax bills and kept people in their homes. The public’s huge response this year has helped dozens of families in a difficult situation.

"There are almost always people who are willing to help people in need, so a lot of times we connect people who contact our office and say they know they owe but they just can’t afford it, so we connect them with those who are stepping up. It’s not usually this much," Missoula County Treasurer Tyler Gernant said.

Any extra money raised in the GoFundMe effort will be given to the North Missoula Community Development Corporation to help re-settle displaced families. The auction for the rest of the properties began at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at the Missoula County Courthouse.