(1) Sections 15-6-301, 15-6-305, and 15-6-311, MCA, provide property tax relief to fixed or limited income homeowners, qualified disabled veterans, and qualified veterans' spouses. Sections 15-6-302, 15-6-305, and 15-6-311, MCA, also require the department to annually adjust the income levels used to determine the eligibility and the amount of relief to account for the effects of inflation.
(2) The calculation of the inflation factor shall be made on a yearly basis as follows:
(a) Sections 15-6-301, 15-6-305, and 15-6-311, MCA, specify that the implicit price deflator (price index) for personal consumption expenditures (PCE), published in the national income and product accounts by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is to be used in the calculation of the inflation factor.
(b) The formula for the calculation of the inflation factor is as follows:
IFt = ---------
PCE t o
IFt equals the inflation factor for property tax year t,
PCE (t-1) is the price index value for personal consumption expenditures for the first quarter of the year prior to the tax year in question,
PCE t o is the price index value for personal consumption expenditures for the first quarter of 2015.
(c) The inflation factor, calculated per the previous section, is used to annually adjust the base year income schedules for the effects of inflation.
Each income figure in the base year income schedule is multiplied by the inflation factor calculated for the tax year in question in order to update the schedule. The product is then rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount. If the adjustment results in a decrease in qualifying income levels from the previous year, the qualifying income levels must remain the same for that year.
(3) The base year income levels for PTAP and MDV are provided in 15-6-305 and 15-6-311, MCA, respectively.