Property tax payments may be made through online payment portal

System implemented before first half payments are due February 28

February 22, 2013

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – A new system for online payments is available for Garfield County property taxpayers. The new payment portal allows taxpayers to complete property tax payments by credit cards or E-checks, with automatic posting to property tax records and immediate verification of payments.

“We are very excited to offer this service to Garfield County property owners,” said Garfield County Treasurer Georgia Chamberlain. “It makes the process easier for taxpayers, and the payments are applied within our property tax database, so it ensures that the payments are made to their accounts directly.” The Garfield County Treasurer’s Office had an online payment portal previously, but the new system is integrated with the county’s online database of properties.

The system is live and has been tested in the past couple of weeks, and property owners may make the first half payment of their taxes online by February 28 if they choose to. Deadlines for 2013 taxes are February 28 and June 17 for taxpayers making two half payments, or April 30 for full payments.

To utilize the online payment portal, taxpayers may visit the Garfield County website treasurer’s home page at Click on the button named “Property taxes”, search for the property, and click in the upper left corner of the Tax Account screen on the payment you are processing. This arranges the payment checkout portal. Full instructions on making online payments are available at this link:

Online payments have a $3.00 additional fee for E-check payments, and a 2.5% convenience fee charge for credit card payments. There is a minimum charge of $3.95. Payments for property taxes may also be made to the treasurer’s office by cash, check or money order, or through bill pay options banks offer. Taxpayers may mail the payments or visit the office to pay, in addition to the online website services.

Garfield County has sent about 30,000 property tax bills to local property owners.

Garfield County has $169,455,617 in taxes certified to be collected through this tax cycle, according to Garfield County Treasurer Georgia Chamberlain. More information on property valuations for 2012 is available in the Garfield County Assessor’s 2012 Abstract of Assessment and Tax Levies, released in January 2013.

The Legislature funded the Senior Homestead Exemption for the tax year 2012. The exemption appears on the tax notice as a reduction of the total amount of taxes due. Qualifying seniors must have owned and lived in their homes since January 1, 2002, have attained the age of 65 by January 1, 2012, and have filed an application for the exemption with the Assessor’s Office by July 15, 2012.

For tax payment questions; contact the Garfield County Treasurer’s Office 970-945-6382. Senior citizens requesting deferrals should contact the Treasurer’s Office to complete this process.

For property or valuation questions; contact the Garfield County Assessor’s Office 970-945-9134.

Frequently asked questions

Presented by Garfield County Assessor Jim Yellico

What accounts for the difference in the amounts certified to be collected this year?

Each tax district, (schools, fire departments, water districts, hospitals, etc.) sets a yearly budget which determines how much money it needs to collect from property taxes. Because of TABOR legislation, a district’s budget must not increase by more than 5.5%, and at the same time, its mill levy cannot increase without voter approval. In the cases of the RE-1 School District and the Carbondale Fire Department, the voters approved the requested mill levy increases.

How does this relate to changes in assessed value in other classifications — ie; residential, vacant land, etc.?

The classification of property for assessment purposes is unrelated to the certification of mill levies. However, the geographic location of the Oil and Gas classification is primarily in the western part of Garfield County – from New Castle to Parachute, to the Utah border. For tax year 2011 and 2012 this was a major benefit for tax districts located in these areas, because oil and gas saw an increase. The valuation increase for the oil and gas classification more than made up for the valuation decrease in the other classifications over the same 2-year period, so those districts were more easily able to collect the revenue needed to operate.

What might this mean for the County tax base?

The increase in percentage of the Garfield County tax base being solely derived from oil and gas is a cause for concern – or at least thoughtful planning. Now that 73% of the assessed value is attributable to oil and gas operations alone, tax districts that derive their revenue from the tax base will be more affected by changes – positive or negative – to the value of this classification. Unlike traditional properties (homes, commercial buildings, or vacant land), natural gas and other produced minerals are commodities, susceptible to large fluctuations in price. The price is a major part of the equation when determining the value of an oil and gas property.

Are there any other trends in levies and revenue in the Abstract of Assessment that might be interesting items to monitor?

Looking ahead to our next reappraisal, tax year 2013, we will most likely see decreases in property values similar to the scale experienced in tax year 2011. Oil and gas operations are valued on an annual basis, so it will be interesting to see what happens in tax year 2013.