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Per Capita Fees on Livestock-Tax Year 2014

What are per capita fees?

All Cattle $2.15
All Sheep and Goats 0.48
All Horses and Mules 5.42
All Swine 0.70
All Poultry 0.05
All Bees 0.38
All Llamas and Alpacas 9.02
All Bison 5.91
Domestic Ungulates
(alternative livestock)
Ratites 9.02

Per capita fees are per-head fees charged on livestock. Authorized by Montana Code Annotated 15-24-921, per capita fees are assessed on "all poultry and bees, all swine three months of age or older, and all other livestock nine months of age or older." The fees help fund the department's animal health programs, brands enforcement, theft investigation and recovery, and predator control.

Per capita fees are user-generated, and are an important component of the department's budget. The fees generated $4.4 million in 2013, or about 40 percent of the department's legislatively approved budget. Other user-generated fees are derived from brand enforcement, lab testing and milk inspection fees. Overall, user-generated fees account for about three-quarters of the department's annual budget, with the remainder coming from state (about 12 percent) and federal (about 15 percent) funds.

Per capita fees are unique in that livestock owners are responsible for "self-reporting" the number of livestock they own to the Department of Revenue, which bills and collects the fee for the Department of Livestock. Livestock owners must report the number of livestock owned on February 1 to the local Department of Revenue Property Assessment office in the county where the livestock are located. The Department of Revenue will then send out a bill, which is due November 30. Fees totaling less than $5 are rounded up to $5.

Everyone benefits from programs funded by per capita fees. Livestock producers benefit from programs to monitor animal health, monitor and restrict livestock imports, track animal movements, prevent and investigate livestock theft, and manage predators. The general public benefits from programs that prevent the spread of animal diseases to humans.

Nonpayment of the per capita fee can result in interest charged on the unpaid balance, which can be deducted from tax returns or result in collection efforts. Livestock owners who have not paid per capita fees can contact their local Department of Revenue office to request a personal property reporting form (click here for the farm/ranch/livestock personal property reporting form, or here for the livestock only reporting form), which can be used to report the number of livestock owned.

For additional information on the per capita fee, contact the Montana Department of Livestock at 406-444-9431.