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Property Tax Assessments Have Arrived – What Now?

Updated: May 23, 2019

2019 is an odd numbered year and that means new tax assessments.  

Property values along the Front Range have continued to rise, so don’t be surprised to see some annual tax increases. However, it is encouraging to know that Colorado has some of the lowest residential property taxes in the country. The average effective tax rate statewide is just 0.57%. That means the typical homeowner in Colorado pays less than 1% of his or her home value in taxes every year.

Notice of Valuations for all properties, except personal property, are sent out May 1st. Notice of Valuations for personal property are sent out June 15th.

Here is a helpful look into how your property tax is calculated:

The calculation of property tax is: Market Value of Property x Assessment Rate x Mill Levy = Property Tax

The most subjective part of this process is determining the properties “Market Value”.  The tax assessor’s office will look at market sales over the past 2 years in calculating the Market Value of the property.  For 2019 the sales that will be used to calculate market values will be sales that occurred July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. However, if insufficient data existed during that time frame, data from each preceding six-month period (up to a period of five years preceding June 30, 2018) may be utilized.

What is the Assessment Rate?  Tax rates in Colorado do not apply to market value but to the assessed value, which is equal to a fraction of the market value. That fraction, the residential assessment rate, is recalculated regularly by the state. For tax years 2017 and 2018, it is 7.20% (for tax year 2016, the rate was 7.96%).

Finally, What is the Mill Levy?  The Mll Levy is the “tax rate” that is applied to the assessed value of a property. One cmil is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed value. It consists of a local portion which is used to fund area services and a statewide portion which is used to fund public schools. Every year, county commissioners, city councils, school boards, and special districts hold public budget hearings to determine how many dollars will be needed for the following year’s operations. The required revenues are then divided by the total assessed value on real property to determine the Mill Levy (also called tax rate) per entity. Each residential property has a specific Mill Levy assigned to it based on its location and public utility structure.

As I mentioned before, the most subjective portion of the tax assessment is the “market value” of your home.  When you receive your new tax analysis if you feel the recent sales are not accurate don’t hesitate to contact me. It is not difficult to contest property values. Here is a helpful link for more information on Colorado property taxes. Also, it’s helpful to know that there are discounted taxes available to Seniors and Disabled Veterans.

The real property deadline to appeal to the Assessor is June 1st of each year.  Property owners have the right to review the County Assessor’s property records and to file an appeal with the County Assessor.

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