NewsMissoula County


County Commissioners hoping to improve equity with new budget

Posted at 11:27 PM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 01:26:59-04

MISSOULA — The Missoula County Commissioners are working on their budget request for the next fiscal year.

The request includes creating three new positions to enforce affordable housing, equity, and ADA compliance within the county. Commissioner Josh Slotnick said they're really considering three main factors, starting with people's immediate needs caused by the pandemic.

They're also addressing long term issues like sustainability, growth, and justice reform.

The last factor, how the budget will impact taxpayers. If all budget requests are approved, it would amount to a $17.34 property tax increase on $350,000 homes, or about $1.45 a month.

Slotnick said the pandemic is affecting people "on the margins," especially those struggling financially.

"We have not yet taken a hard look to see, 'Do the services we provide reach everyone in a fair and equitable way? Do we as an organization represent the community we support?' We haven't taken a look at this, and the only way we're going to make headway on these issues is if we take a hard look, and then make a plan," Slotnick said.

You still have time to submit public comment on the budget by emailing, or leaving a voicemail at 406-258-4877.

The next public hearing will be next Thursday at 2 p.m.