Montana Real Estate Disclosure Law
Disclosing Montana Real Estate Sales Prices: Good or Bad?
“Montana real estate non-public disclosure of real estate sales price” means that when a real property is transferred (sold), the sales price is not disclosed to the public or available on the public record, restricting citizens and businesses from accessing this information.
Only Multi-Listings Services (MLSs) and governmental entities in Montana have access to sales prices of Montana real estate.
The Code of Montana requires the collection of a Realty Transfer Certificate (RTC) for the Montana Department of Revenue on every real estate sale.
All Montana real estate sales prices and related property information must be kept confidential by the Montana Department of Revenue and all 56 county clerks and recorders, which means the public cannot access the information.
The Montana Legislature decided that Montana’s Department of Revenue would be prohibited from using prices from the sale of property in Montana as a means for determining property taxes.
PROS: Though more, there are two main reasons FOR the non-disclosure of Montana real estate prices law:
- This is an attempt by the State of Montana to balance the benefits of public disclosure with maintaining the individual citizen’s privacy and property rights.
- Disclosure of public real estate sales data weakens the value to Montana real estate agents data retained by their local Multiple Listing Services (MLS).
CONS: Though more, there are two main reasons AGAINST the non-disclosure of Montana real estate prices law:
- A repeal of the non-disclosure law would allow property owners both the ability to compare their property tax assessment to recent, timely property sales and to allow property owners to better understand the values the State has placed on their property for tax purposes.
- A repeal would grant property owners the ability to determine whether or not their property is fairly valued and, if not, to appeal the amount of their property tax.
In 2014 the State of Montana’s explanation of MCA 15-7-308 was revised from that of 2010: “Revised Explanation of Montana Public Disclosure of Real Estate Sales Law“
Here is the old, 2010 Explanation of Montana Public Disclosure Real Estate Sales Law.
Information Below Is From:
Realty Transfer Tax, State of Montana Code Annotated 2019
TITLE 15. TAXATION
CHAPTER 7. APPRAISAL
Part 3. Realty Transfer Act
Disclosure Of Information Restricted — Exceptions
1. Disclosure of information restricted — exceptions. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the certificate required by this part and the information contained in the certificate are not a public record and must be held confidential by the county clerk and recorder and the department. This is because the legislature finds that the demands of individual privacy outweigh the merits of public disclosure.
The confidentiality provisions do not apply to compilations from the certificates, to summaries, analyses, and evaluations based upon the compilations, or to sales data used by the department to value residential property in a property taxpayer’s market model area after the property taxpayer signs a written or electronic confidentiality agreement.
2. The confidentiality provisions of this section do not apply to the information contained in the water right ownership update form or any other form prepared and filed with the department of natural resources and conservation pursuant to 85-2-424 for purposes of maintaining a system of centralized water right records as mandated by Article IX, section 3(4), of the Montana constitution.
A person may access water right transfer information through the department of natural resources and conservation pursuant to the department’s implementation of the requirements of Montana Code Annotated 85-2-112(3).