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NorthWestern Energy Clarifies 2015 Customer Property Tax Impact

Dec 08, 2015

Butte, Mont. – Dec. 8, 2015 – NorthWestern Energy today clarified the impact of expected property tax increases on customer bills. The property tax increases were inadvertently misstated by the company during a roundtable meeting with officials of the Montana Department of Revenue and the Montana Public Service Commission on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

For 2015, a typical residential electric customer using 750 kilowatts hours per month, the projected increase will be 38 cents per month, or $4.56 per year, which represents a 0.45 percent increase in their total bill.

The projected increase for a typical natural gas customer using 100 therms per month will be 36 cents per month, or $4.32 year, which represents a 0.49 percent total bill increase. These changes will be effective beginning in January.

NorthWestern expects to pay about $121.9 million in 2015 Montana property taxes, a significant increase from the $99.9 million paid in 2015. The above customer bill impact amounts reflect the tax increases associated with the company’s transmission and distribution system. While the Montana Department of Revenue cited the company’s increased market value as a result of the acquisition of 11 hydroelectric facilities as a key driver for the tax increase, the taxes specific to those facilities are not included in the above amounts. NorthWestern is required to make a compliance filing by the end of this year that sums up all of the costs associated with the hydro facilities this year and the property taxes associated those facilities will be included as part of that filing.

Montana law allows NorthWestern and other utilities to pass along 60 percent of its property taxes to customers via monthly bills. The company absorbs the remainder of the tax increase. Property taxes currently account for about 10 percent of a typical residential customer’s monthly bill.

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About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 692,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.  More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at

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