WTF406.com has written numerous posts about Republican Senator Jeremy Trebas’ commercial property on 1st Avenue North. A quick recap:
–Trebas bought property at 1300 1st Avenue North in May 0f 2022. The property was classified as a church when he bought it. Trebas’ continued to enjoy the property tax classification as a church even though he did not qualify for the exemption. His annual property tax bill was just under $550 per year.
–The building was also in violation of fire codes, because it did not have an adequate fire suppression system. Rather than complete the needed work, Trebas introduced a bill in the Montana Senate that would have exempted his property. The bill was vehemently opposed by Fire Marshals across the state and died in the legislative process.
–After the legislative session (and his failed attempt to change the law to favor his pocket book) Trebas put the building on the market for $475,000.
Despite the fact that WTF406 notified the Department of Revenue of concerns about the misclassification of Trebas’ building, it appeared that no adjustments were made by May. WTF406 wrote a formal letter to the Department of Revenue and local officials on June 1st asking that the property be reclassified and that Trebas’ property tax obligation be adjusted accordingly. In a follow-up phone call, the Department of Revenue informed WTF406 that the building had been reclassified, and that Trebas’ property tax obligation for the coming tax year would be $6,343.32. That’s quite a jump from the $535 he had been paying.
A quick review of current real estate listings in Great Falls on July 10 reveals that the building is still for sale. Right after the legislative session, Trebas was seeking $475,000. Real Estate Dot Com on July 10 lists the property for sale for $281,227. Of course we don’t have access to the details of his finances, but it seems Trebas is trying to unload an albatross around his neck. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!
What The Funk sent the following letter to the Department of Revenue on June 1, 2023.
June 1, 2023
Montana Dept of Revenue
Great Falls Office
300 Central Ave # 520
Great Falls, MT 59401
Re: Misclassification of Senator Jeremy Trebas’ Property
I am writing regarding the misclassification of property owned by Republican Senator Jeremy Trebas (through Rear View Mirror LLC) at 1300 1st Avenue North in Great Falls. We notified you months ago that the property does not appear to qualify for a religious exemption from property taxes and provided the following article which gives the relevant information and details.
As of May 28, 2023 we note that the property is still listed as exempt property on the Montana Cadastral Map, approximately a full year after Trebas purchased the property. He is currently paying $535.58 per year on a commercial property valued at $359,505. Far below what he should be paying.
We are surprised that the Department of Revenue has not adjusted his property tax classification. This is unfair to other taxpayers in the community and is depriving tax jurisdictions of revenue. Trebas also introduced a bill in the Senate attempting to exempt this property from needed repairs to bring it up to safety codes. Though the bill failed, it is quite apparent he is not above trying to play the system to his own advantage. https://wtf406.com/2023/01/jeremy-trebas-the-self-dealing-senator/
We request that you adjust his classification immediately and make sure he pays the difference for the year he has owned the property. If, for some reason, either the cadastral map or Webtax site are in error or you believe the property is properly classified as an exempt property, please let us know.
CC: Property Tax Division Administrator, MT Department of Revenue,
Cascade County Commission, Mayor of Great Falls
Below are links to our previous posts on this topic.