(1) An applicant for mining claim classification must prove the parcel, which is the subject of the application, meets the following criteria:
(a) is nonproductive;
(b) is patented;
(c) has not been depleted of mineral deposits;
(d) is outside the limits of an incorporated city or town, or in the case of a county-municipal consolidation, outside the limits of the municipalities prior to the date of consolidation;
(e) has no separate and independent value other than as a mining claim; and
(f) is being held by the owner for the sole purpose of developing the mineral interests on the property.
(2) The applicant for class three property tax treatment is required to demonstrate ownership of the patented mining claim for which classification is sought. If, on the date of application, the applicant is presently carried on the tax rolls of the county as the owner of the mining claim, the department will presume that the applicant is the owner of record of the mining claim.
(3) If, on the date of application, the applicant is not carried as the owner of record of the mining claim on the tax rolls of the county, the applicant will be required to fulfill criteria set forth in (4) .
(4) Proof of the criteria set forth in (1) must consist of the following:
(a) submission of a copy of the United States patent issued in the name of the owner of record or a written certificate from the Bureau of Land Management certifying the ownership of the patented mining claim;
(b) submission of a copy of the RTC, if provided for by law as of the date of patent issuance, completed by the owner of record or the owner's representative or agent; and
(c) submission of copies of the most recent deeds or security agreements evidencing ownership and a copy of the last assessment on the patented mining claim.
(5) In the event that class three property tax treatment is sought for a patented mining claim which is owned by multiple parties, the criteria set forth in (2) and (3) must be fulfilled by a majority of the parties or entities currently paying the taxes on the claim or by the single party or entity paying taxes on the claim.
(6) If the department denies the application for class three property tax treatment, and if the applicant/taxpayer disagrees with the department's determination, the taxpayer shall be entitled to exercise the rights set forth in 15-7-102 , MCA.