How is my property value determined?
Values are determined by comparing your property with properties that are similar in location, design, size, age and amenities. Comparable sales that occurred in the appraisal data collection period, typically between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, are to be considered. If there is insufficient data, the Assessor may consider sales within the 5-year period ending June 30, 2018 by going back in 6-month increments to obtain adequate comparable valuation data; however this data must be time trended to the June 30, 2018 appraisal date. This is known as the Sales Comparison Approach. For non-residential property, the cost and the income approaches to value are also considered.
How are property taxes calculated?
(Actual value) x (assessment rate) x (mill levy) / 1,000 = tax dollars
For 2019 and 2020, the residential assessment rate (assessment rates are set by the Colorado General Assembly) will probably be 7.15%. The assessment rate for all other property, including vacant land, is 29%.
Example: (Please note this is only an example – your value and mill levy may be different.)
$350,000 (actual value)
x .0715% (residential assessment rate)
x 95 (mill levy) / 1000
= $2,377 (tax dollars)
Who sets the mill levy?
Each individual taxing entity, such as a school, county, city, fire department, water and sanitation district, and recreation district sets its own mill levy and are listed on your tax notice.
Can you appeal your property taxes to the assessor?
No. You may only appeal your property’s actual value or classification. Objections to the level of taxation must be taken to the taxing entities(see question above). Colorado provides tax deferrals and rebates for elderly and disabled residents. For information on these programs call 970-945-9134 and ask for a brochure.
Doesn’t the TABOR Amendment of 1992 prevent my taxes from rising?
No. The TABOR Amendment (Amendment I of 1992) controls the amount that state and local governments can collect and spend. It does not limit the rate of increase of an individual tax bill.
Why don’t all properties increase or decrease by the same percentage?
Some people believe the previous (2017/2018) values are simply multiplied by an inflation factor, but in a reappraisal, all the data from the relevant time frame (July 1, 2016 through June 20, 2018) is considered. Using mass appraisal techniques, along with this data, numerous market models are developed within the county. These market models will reflect the increased, stable, or decreased activity of those properties.
If I do not agree with the actual value, what steps should I take?
- You may come into the office during May to talk with an appraiser about your value. We are located in the old Courthouse building at 109 8th St. Suite 207.
- You may write a letter. It must be postmarked by June 1, 2020. Please mail to 109 8th St. Suite 207, Glenwood Springs, CO.
- You may fax a letter (970-945-3953). It must be received by this office no later than June 1, 2020.
- You may phone the office at 970-945-9134. Please note, if you phone the office, you will be asked to provide a signed appeal form before the protest can be processed.*
It is important to remember that if you choose to appeal the assessor’s value, you should provide pertinent information supporting your estimate of value. If you appoint an agent to act on your behalf, that person needs your written authorization.
When is the best time to come in?
The first week of May. The busiest time will be the last week before the deadline. You must appeal your value to the Assessor between May 2, 2020 and June 1, 2020.
I’m not sure if I should appeal or not. How can I find out the sale prices of properties in my neighborhood for the 18-month period prior to June 30, 2018?
- Come in to the assessor’s office from 8 am – 5 pm. The appraiser from your area will be happy to speak with you about your value and the sales data used to arrive at that value.
- Seek information from a local real estate professional. They may be able to help provide you with comparable arm’s length transactions between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018.
- The comparable sales that were used to value all of Garfield County are located here.
If my house wasn’t complete in June 2018, shouldn’t it be valued at “zero?”
No. The assessor is required to value each property as it existed on January 1 of the current year.
What happens after I appeal?
The assessor’s office will review all appeals and respond by letter before the end of June. In some cases, assessor personnel might need to make a physical inspection of the property. If you are dissatisfied with the assessor’s response, you may appeal to the County Board of Equalization in writing on or before July 15, 2020 (c/o Mary Lynn Stevens, 108 8th Street, Suite 219, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601).
Senior property tax exemption
Colorado voters passed a Property Tax Exemption for Seniors in the November 2000 election (also known as Referendum A). The law provides that 50% of the first $200,000 of actual value for a qualifying senior citizen’s primary residence shall be exempt from property taxation.
To qualify for the exemption, the senior must:
- have reached age 65 as of January 1, 2020;
- have occupied the property for 10 years prior to January 1, 2020; and,
- have filed an application for the exemption.