Helena, MT -

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state Revenue Department in a dispute over how Bresnan Communications property is assessed for tax purposes.

The decision increases the company's taxes by millions of dollars each year.

District Judge Susan Watters ruled last year that Bresnan's properties should continue to be split between two tax classifications -- a 3 percent rate for cable television services and a 6 percent rate for its telecommunications services.

The Supreme Court overturned that ruling Monday, saying Bresnan's business has evolved into a full telecommunications services company and should be taxed at the higher rate.

Bresnan is now owned by Charter Communications. Spokeswoman Anita Lamont tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that the company is extremely disappointed. The ruling raises the company's taxes from $1.7 million to $7.3 million annually.