Missoulians Rush to Save Homes From Delinquent Tax Sale
Missoula County will auction off mobile homes with unpaid tax bills tomorrow morning April 11, but some concerned citizens are rushing to try to pay off those bills before the deadline today at 5:00 p.m. The charge is being led by Svein Newman who says he was shocked after reading an article on the matter.
"A lot of those bills were $200 or less, you know, and it seemed unconscionable to me that someone should have to lose a home that they already own over a $170, $190, or $210 bill," Newman said. "In particular, if folks can't make that deadline or can't afford to make that payment where else are they going to go? What else are they going to do?"
Newman says he read about a past act of generosity, in which an unnamed Missoulian paid off local debts totaling over $9,000 and says he was moved to do the same, but didn’t quite have the funds to do so.
"I don't have $9,000 lying around, but I thought, hey, you know, I do have $50, maybe I have $100 and I bet I know some other folks do too," Newman said. "So, I called the County Treasurer's office to see if they'd be open for me trying to crowd fund raise and scrape some money together to help some families save their homes. Thee Treasurer was really into it and so I set it up online and have been really pleased by the results."
Newman started a GoFundMe page called Save Affordable Missoula Housing, which has raised over $6,000 from over 100 donors. The goal of the page is to prevent “up to nearly 200 Missoulians” from losing their homes. There were over $27,000 of unpaid debts and Newman says the money will be spent on the lowest debts first in order to try to help as many families as possible. Newman says the issue is close to his heart as he grew up in a mobile home himself.