Routt County residents have recently received updated Notice of Property Valuations, and many of them have shown significant increases in values.
What does it all mean? How is the valuation calculated, and how will it affect your property tax bill? What do you do if you disagree or want to appeal your property valuation notice? Read on for answers to these Real Property Valuation FAQ’s.
Why did my Property Valuation increase (or decrease) from the prior reappraisal?
All Colorado Assessors revalue all property every odd year. The Notice of Valuation that property owners received in May 2019 reflects the valuation with an effective appraisal date of June 30, 2018. The 2019 values are determined based on sales and market activity for the two years prior to June 30, 2018 – so from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018. Because, generally speaking, we have been in an appreciating market and seeing property values increase during this time, the sales that are used to determine the property values reflected that increase in values. A few property types, segments or areas may have seen a drop in value or no change from the previous assessment. Note that number of bedrooms typically do not affect the valuation – square footage does.
The Steamboat area average increase in Residential valuation is about 17% from the prior assessment in 2017 (which was based on sales and market activity from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2016). For Hayden and South Routt towns, the average is -25%. Countywide, Vacant Land valuations increased 12%; and Commercial experienced a 4-6% increase. These are just the total average of thousands of properties, so individual variations can deviate from these percentages, sometimes significantly.
How does the Property Valuation affect my property tax bill?
Property Taxes Due = Actual Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Levy. So, if your property valuation went up by 17%, your property tax bill will not go up by 17%, but rather by a factor determined by the assessment rate and mill levy.
ACTUAL VALUE is the amount shown on the Notice of Property Valuation, as determined by the Assessor’s appraisal of the property, with an effective date of June 30, 2018, based on the sales and market activity for the two years prior to June 30, 2018.
ASSESSMENT RATE: Residential Property is assessed at 7.15% of ACTUAL value (this is a new, lower rate for 2019 – the previous rate was 7.2% and in 2017 it was 7.96%). Non-Residential Property is assessed at 29% of ACTUAL value. A vacant residential lot is considered non-residential property and is assessed at the 29% assessment rate.
MILL LEVIES: A taxing entity’s tax rate is measured by mills; this mill rate is set each year by each individual taxing entity or authority such as school district, county government, fire, water and sanitation, library, and other special districts. These entities provide tax-supported services and are listed on your tax bills. They can also be viewed on the Routt County Treasurer’s website for a specific property.
Sample Property Tax Bill Calculation: $500,000 residential condo with 45.67 aggregate mills = $500,000 x 7.15% x 45.67 mills = 500,000 x .0715 x .04567 = $1632.70
How do I appeal if I disagree with the information on my 2019 Notice of Value?
The deadline to appeal is June 3, 2019, by submitting your Notice of Value protest form via letter postmarked no later than June 3, 2019, email, fax, or presented the form in person to the Routt County Assessor’s office. The appeal process is intended to provide taxpayers with an opportunity to inform the assessor of errors in classification, property description, or other discrepancies that may result in a reduction in value or a change in classification. If you are appealing the appraised value, your estimate of value must be as of June 30, 2018 and supported with relevant information (i.e. sales activity and market conditions between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018). Market or sales data occurring after June 30, 2018 cannot be considered as relevant to your appeal. If you choose to appoint an agent to act on your behalf, that person must have your written authorization, which needs to accompany the appeal to be considered filed.
What is the best way to appeal?
Visit the Assessor’s office in person, or email your appeal form to email@example.com by including an attached electronic copy of your Notice of Value. By visiting the office in person, you are able to sit down with a county appraiser and discuss your appeal issues. You will be notified about the status and outcome of your appeal by June 30, 2019.
What constitutes a successful appeal?
If you can show that the assessor’s inventory of your property is incorrect, thus overstating your property’s value, or that data used to value your property was based on sales of superior properties, a value adjustment could be warranted. However, a lower value placed on your neighbor’s property is not a basis for an appeal. The Assessor or their staff appraisers may ask to inspect your property to confirm its characteristics and condition (which may also result in an upward adjustment).
How do I contact the Asssessor’s Office?
CLICK HERE for more detailed information about 2019 Real Property Valuations and Appeal Process